At the annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the IMF says the world generally are aware of the lingering borders closure of Nigeria against neighbouring African countries such as Benin and Niger Republic, it has however acknowledge the hurting effects such measure have on the citizens of Benin and Niger Republic as a result of their dependence on the Nigerian large market for their goods.
This statement was made by Mr Abebe Selassie, Director of IMF African Department was asked about this border closure issues by journalists at the spring meeting at Washington Dc, US.
The Director said, contrary to report Nigeria has not banned importation of goods from the neighbouring country, but merely insists that all importation from this country must go through proper channels for proper documentation and payment of port charges.
”Selassie acknowledge that there was need to adopt measures to end smuggling and other illegal activities and transactions at the borders. He talked about some of the implications of the current closure especially on Beninois and Nigeriens.”
Benin and Niger republics depends on the Nigerian economy for their products as their ‘big brother’.
“So we’re very hopeful that discussions will resolve the challenges that this illegal trade is fostering. To be sure, if the border closure was to be sustained for a long time, it’s going to definitely have an impact on Benin and Niger, which, of course, rely quite extensively on their big brother next door. So, we hope that there will be a resolution to that closure issue,” Selassie added.
He concluded by making it clear that there is nothing IMF and world bank can do to end this border closure issues but that they hope countries involved reach agreement on how to curb these illegal transactions across their borders and make it a ‘positive sum game’.