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Nigeria’s border restrictions takes toll on West, Central Africa

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Benin, Togo, Ghana, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire hit by Nigeria’s border restrictions

By Our Correspondent

The restrictions placed on Nigeria’s borders in the past few days is taking its toll on the economic life of the West and Central African nations that border Nigeria as well as border communities within Nigeria, The Difference has learnt.

According to investigations, within 24 hours of the restriction  order coming into effect, the fall-outs were being witnessed even as they spread from currency matters to the broader economic plane.

As at last Friday, there were few vehicles on the roads of Benin Republic with many the difficulties that the restrictions had engendered.

Accounting for the bulk of business transactions in the region, many of the nations within the continent have come over time to rely on the size of the and breadth of the Nigerian economy to boost local traction in their respective territories.

From the ports of Benin Republic to cattle and food wholesalers in Chad and Niger, there is a lot of reliance on patronage from Nigeria’s 200 million market.

Our correspondent who travelled through Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso reported that the discomforts introduced by the restrictions include increase in the cost of fuel to the proliferation of trucks parked on the roads and highways waiting for the opening of the borders.

Observers say that even when Nigeria reserves the right to open and close its borders based on its own noted national interest, it should however also ensure that this does not unnecessarily impose undue pain and hardship on its neighbours.  This is more so when the nation is a signatory to several regional and continental protocols of the Economic Community of West African State, ECOWAS and the African Union, AU. Significantly also, they point to the nation’s recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA and call for greater restraint in taking such unilateral steps that may be counter-productive to the continental and regional economy.

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