August 13, 2023

Nigeria-Niger border closure: Agric traders lose N13bn weekly – Arewa Economic Forum


… Warns FG, ECOWAS against military intervention in Niger 

Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief 

The Arewa Economic Forum (AEF) has cried out over a weekly N13 billion loss of agricultural produce at the Nigeria-Niger border closure.

Addressing a press conference,  in Abuja, Sunday, the Chairman of the AEF,  Alh Ibrahim Dandakata, said that the border closure was hurting Nigerians and unsustainable. 

He said that perishable goods, such as onions, tomatoes,  pepper, and livestock were being lost to the border closure and appealed to the federal government to expedite action to diplomatically resolve the Niger crisis.

Alh. Dandakata said, “Financially, our members lose N13 billion per week at the Nigeria-Niger border, due to the border closure. 

“These are perishable commodities such as onions,  tomatoes,  pepper, animals that are stranded. The border closure has affected us very badly in the North.  We Nigerians benefit more from the trade between Nigeria and Niger and so we suffer more than the Nigeriens under the current border closure.”

While awaiting the resolution of the Niger crisis, the Chairman suggested the opening of the Maje border post between Nigeria and Benin Republic in Kebbi State, as an alternative route.

Alh. Dandakata was accompanied by the  Ag. Chairman of Customs Lincesed Agents (North West Zone) Alh.  Hamza Sale Alh. Dauda Jibiya an importer.

He noted that the economy of the region was hurting badly beyond what anyone could imagine under the current crisis.

The Chairman also conveyed the disapproval of the forum to military intervention by Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

According any form of military intervention in Niger would negative impact Northern Nigeria and indeed, the nation, which warned, would be greatly destabilised.

According to him, “Nigeria or ECOWAS’ military intervention in Niger will wipe out all the gains that Nigeria has recorded in the fight against terrorists in Northern Nigeria. 

“If that military intervention starts, arms will flood Nigeria.  The crisis will not affect Northern Nigeria alone.  It will spread to all parts of Nigeria,  the Sub-region indeed the whole region.”