Northern Traders in the country are lamenting over the weekly loss of about N13bn following the closure of borders in the region due to the ongoing crisis in Niger Republic.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on August 4, 2023, ordered the closure of all borders with Niger Republic following the sanction imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Following the president’s order, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has closed the borders of Jibiya in Katsina state, Illelah in Sokoto and Maigatari in Jigawa.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, the Chairman of Arewa Economic Forum, Ibrahim Yahaya Dandakata, said the closing of the borders is making it unbearable for traders to get their goods to the country.
Dandakata stated that the consequences of the border closure have been huge, saying that Northern traders lost N13bn since the closure of the Nigeran borders.
He, therefore, advised the Nigerian government to open the maje-illo border in Kebbi to allow traders to bring goods to the country.
He said: “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 lost 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 to bring in their goods into the country and empower customs to collect import duty thereafter.”
Also speaking, a trader and member of the forum, Hamza Saleh Jibiya, said about 2,000 containers laden with perishable and non-perishable goods have been trapped and cannot be cleared due to the closure.
He added: “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 to remain in business.”