benin republic

Nigeria’s Border closure: Benin Republic battles for economic survival as rice price drops

It is not an easy economy for the people of Benin Republic currently as a result of Nigeria’s policy on border closure.

Mostly affected in the neighbouring country are rice, chicken, turkey and textile shop owners, it was learnt.

According to the Daily Trust, the difficulty to get product from the country to Nigeria may have been part of the reasons the prices of such goods crashed in the country.

Currently at the border area between Nigeria and Benin, the price of foreign rice is said to have dropped to N9,000 and even hardly gets patronage.

According to Daily Trust reporter who carried out the investigation quoted a cab driver, Oliver, as expressing frustration, saying he is also affected by Nigeria’s border closure.

“Oga, I used to do five trips between Seme border and Cotonou daily before the closure.

I have been at the park since 04.30 am and it is 12.30 pm, and this is my first trip,” Oliver lamented. It was also confirmed by the report that trailers and heavy duty vehicles carrying products are stranded at the border towns.

According to the finding, those dealing in rice and textiles in Cotonou are mostly Chinese and Lebanese while the natives attract customers and get commission.

“What Nigeria has done is devastating. We had already ordered these goods on the high sea for December rush when the government closed the border.

“When Nigerians used to come, one person buys textile wax worth around CFR15m CFR. But these days, as big as this shop, I hardly make sales of CFR100,000,” the report quoted Samir, a Lebanese trader, as saying.

It further quoted Emeka Eze, who trades in used clothes, as lamenting the effect of the border closure in Nigeria.

“I have not been able to sell one bale in one month. I used to sell two bales in one day when the borders were opened,” he said while pleading with the Benin government to resolve the issues with Nigeria for businesses to survive

Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government has announced the suspension of diesel and petrol supply to filling stations within 20 kilometres radius to all Nigerian borders.

Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, issued the directive in a memo on Thursday, November 6.

According to Daily Sun who was confirmed the authenticity of the memo by the Customs spokesman, Joseph Attah.

He said the directive has been given to all commands through Chidi A, Deputy Comptroller-General enforcement, inspection, and investigation Customs.

“The comptroller general of Customs has directed that henceforth no petroleum products no matter the tank size is permitted to be discharged in any filling station within 20 kilometers to the border.

“Consequently, you are to ensure strict and immediate compliance please,” the memo read in part.

Attah said the move was in strict obedience to government’s desire to safeguard the economy of the nation.

Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the federal government of Nigeria on Monday, November 4, said that until member nations of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) respect rules of origin, it will not reopen its land borders.

This was stated by he minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, who said that all goods exported into Nigeria from ECOWAS countries must have not less than 30% local inputs, adding that such goods must be escorted directly from the port of member nations directly to Nigerian borders.


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