In the wake of the recent coup in Niger, the closure of borders in the northern region has led to a significant economic setback for northern traders, with an estimated weekly revenue loss of N13 billion.
According to the chairman of the Arewa Economic Forum, Ibrahim Dandakata, the closure of these borders has severely impacted not only the traders’ livelihoods but also the broader economic stability of Nigerians. He strongly urged the federal government to consider reopening the Maje-Illo border, situated in Kebbi State. This move, he emphasised, would allow traders to resume their import and export activities, helping to mitigate the significant financial losses faced by traders in the region.
“Since the President’s directive to seal all borders with the Niger Republic in response to the coup announcement, the ramifications have been staggering. Northern traders are grappling with a staggering N13 billion weekly loss,” he stated.
As part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), member states have collectively imposed economic sanctions on Niger due to the military junta’s refusal to restore democracy. One of the measures taken includes the closure of land borders, which has been implemented in an effort to pressure the country’s leadership to reinstate democratic processes.
The Arewa Economic Forum’s disclosure of the substantial financial toll inflicted upon Northern traders underscores the urgency of finding a solution to ease the economic strain caused by the border closure. As discussions continue within the region and ECOWAS on the broader implications of these actions, restoring trade routes could potentially help alleviate some of the financial hardships faced by traders and businesses alike.