More than a year after it closed its land borders, Nigeria is looking to reopen them ‘as soon as possible’, President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday.
Mr Buhari stated this during a meeting with governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
The president said the closure of the borders was also an attempt to control the smuggling of weapons and drugs from neighboring countries.
“Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours, we are looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible,” the president was quoted as saying by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
Nigeria first showed its willingness to re-open the border last month, amid skyrocketing food prices and increased calls for reopening of the borders.
The move came after the nation fell into its second recession in five years, according to GDP data released by the National Bureau of Statistics for the third quarter of 2020.
Many have attributed the economic recession partly to the border closure that has been in place since August 2019, which, among others, has seen inflation rise to a 30-month high.
Policy experts have said that lifting the blockade will help check the recession, the nation’s worst in decades, and ease the economic hardship faced by Nigerians.
Last month, the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said Mr Buhari would soon receive a report of a presidential committee to advise on the reopening of the borders.