How Nigerian Traders Lose N13bn Weekly Due to Niger Border Closure

Nigerian traders have expressed their outcry through the Arewa Economic Forum urging the federal government to create a platform way traders can relate with citizens in Niger Republic.

This comes as the traders' group claims that its members lose roughly N13 million each week due to weekly border closures with Nigeria. Why they decried the Niger coup, the farmers urged the federal government to avoid harming innocent Nigerians to punish the Niger military dictatorship.

The Nigerian government blocked all land crossings with Niger on August 4, 2023, as part of sanctions imposed on the ECOWAS member nation after the July 26 military coup.

Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno are among the northern Nigerian states that share a 1,608-kilometer border with five areas of the Niger Republic.

Alhaji Ibrahim Danda-Kate, Chairman of the Arewa Economic Forum, stated that Nigerian authorities should consider the implications of any border closure with Niger for Nigeria and other bordering countries.

He stated that Niger is a commercial gateway to Mauritania, Mali, and other Nigerian trading partners.

“The financial loss is about N13bn per week. Any disruption in the lives of those people will have a devastating effect on Nigeria and the rate of refugees more than what Nigeria currently has. We are not prepared enough to take in more refugees from Niger.

“The sanctions should be targeted at the military officers and not the common people already living in penury. Please, don’t punish Nigerian trades.”

According to Hamza Sale Jibia, a member of the forum, over 2000 containers belonging to members of the organization are now being held up at the crossings, most of which are perishable commodities. A container's typical worth is between $20,000 and $50,000.


Members of the group requested the federal government to open the Maje-Illo border crossing between Kebbi State and the Benin Republic.

They claim that the Maje-Illo boundary has no link to Niger. It is associated with the Benin Republic.

"That is the area where the government can take action to reduce the negative impact of the border on Nigerians and Nigerian traders," Jibia said yesterday during a news conference in Abuja.

The Arewa Economic Forum urged the government to use diplomatic methods to settle the dispute. "The military should only be used as a last resort." While urging for a swift diplomatic settlement to the problem, the conference also cautioned against causing another crisis in the area.

The concern is that if Niger falls into the hands of the military or the coup is not well managed, all of the accomplishments made in the war against Boko Haram and ISWAP would be lost.

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