N13bn lost weekly due to border closure over Niger coup—Northern traders

Abuja—Northern traders have lamented the loss of about N13bn weekly due to the closure of borders in the region over the ongoing crisis in Niger Republic.

Daily Trust reports that President Bola Tinubu had on August 4 ordered the closure of all borders with Niger Republic which the Nigerian Customs have now enforced.

The borders include Jibiya in Katsina state, Illelah in Sokoto and Maigatari in Jigawa.

The chairman, Arewa Economic Forum Ibrahim Yahaya Dandakata, disclosed this while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.

He said the economic consequences of the closure is becoming unbearable for traders, while urging the federal government to open the maje-illo border in Kebbi to allow traders bring in goods to the country.

“Since the order by the President to close all the borders with Niger Republic following the announcement of the coup, the consequences have been huge. Northern traders loss N13bn weekly.

“Trade between Niger and Nigeria is usually informal especially in perishable goods and only last year alone, it is estimated at about N177bn in goods and services like livestock and food items

“Therefore, further closure of the border will be detrimental to the huge trade going on between these two countries.

“We hereby appeal to President Tinubu to open the maje-illo border in Kebbi state to enable traders bring in their goods into the country and empower customs to collect import duty thereafter,” he explained.

Also speaking, a trader and member of the forum, Hamza Saleh Jibiya, said since the closure of the border, about 2,000 containers laden with perishable and non-perishable goods have been trapped and cannot be cleared due to the closure

“The average value of a container is between $20,000 to $70,000 which in our estimation will be about N140bn trapped in those containers.

“The alternative which we appeal now is for the federal government to open the maje-illo border in Kebbi to enable us remain in business,” he added.

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