Reviews On Nigeria; Border Closure with Benin:Impact of the closure in Local Economy.

With cheap goods smuggled or imported hampering domestic producers, Buhari had ordered a partial closure of the border with Benin in August.However the borders with all neighbouring countries were shut down completely this September.

Farmers and traders are distressed after Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari closed all neighbouring borders around the country with a plan to end Nigeria’s economic dependence on oil, by developing domestic agriculture and industry.

The border closure means Nigeria is choked off from supplies until the next harvest by local farmers.With Benin still smuggling subsidized fuel in Nigeria, the border closures are also difficult for traffickers to deal with.

Dozens of baskets brimming with newly-picked tomatoes gently rot in the sticky heat, becoming the latest casualty in a bout of trade tension between Benin and Nigeria.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="588"]Image result for benin rotten tomatoes farm Tomatoes Market[/caption]


These tomatoes are rotting in the field because the border is closed and our customers have stopped coming to buy them. Everything rotted in the field and this means we end up being in debt,” said Parfait Glokpo, a Farmer

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="622"]Related image Rotten tomatoes Farm[/caption]

This is a distressing sight," Agriculture Minister Gaston Dossouhoui said this month, visiting markets in the town of Grand Popo, one of the main agricultural communities of southern Benin.

"It's very difficult for our producers. It's a disaster."

"Financially speaking, Benin's small producers are under water -- they've already had to run up millions (of CFA francs) in debt," said Adjeoda Amoussou, head of Benin's Chamber of Agriculture.

Buhari defended the closure by saying Benin and Niger -- Nigeria's neighbour to the northeast -- had failed to police their borders properly, and chronic smuggling was the result.

"The borders will remain closed until our neighbours control what goes through the borders and comply with the laws," warned Hameed Ali, comptroller general of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The move immediately caused a shockwave, Unilateral border closures go against all commercial and freedom of movement treaties signed under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The announcement also cast a shadow over a historic free-trade agreement, signed by 54 out of 55 African countries, that reached a key operational threshold just five weeks earlier.

David and Goliath Fight

Huge quantities of frozen chickens, rice, fabric and cars arrive at the port of Cotonou, Benin's economic capital, where they are taxed locally before being routed -- often illegally -- to Nigeria

Benin has few functioning petrol stations, and its fuel is far more expensive than in Nigeria, where it is subsidised by the state. A common sight is smuggled Nigerian petrol, sold by the side of the road in jerrycans.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="3432"]Image result for benin petrol sellers Benin Petrol Station[/caption]

Beyond contraband, though, trade with Nigeria is crucial for Benin and Niger.Ranking among the world's poorest countries, they find themselves as David opposite the Nigerian Goliath -- a market of 200 million and Africa's biggest economy.

In Benin, business people in some parts of the economy are panicking, and unfounded rumours that Nigeria will even go so far as to cut off its electricity supply are spreading in local newspapers.

"Buhari and his country want to put an end to us," said Barthelemy Agon, a pineapple producer. He like many others have been hard-hit by fruits and vegetables no longer being exported to their big neighbour.
As for taxi and truck drivers, it's barely worth the effort to hit the road since a litre of imported contraband fuel has risen by about one euro ($1.10) since the frontier was closed.

"We are suffering seriously from this situation -- without petrol we can't do anything," said Aristide Samson Assogba, a motorcycle taxi driver.

The Benin Business women/men and Farmers  begged the Nigerian president to have pity on the country and her Economy.

"President Buhari should be a little bit afraid of God," said Henry Assogba from the National Association of Petrol Sellers. "The big one cannot live without the little one."

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