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Nigerian border reopening would offer some respite

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Significance

Nigeria’s land borders have been closed since August 2019, officially to check indiscriminate smuggling of goods into the country. The closures have been blamed in part for rising inflation, which recently hit a 30-month high amid the harsh economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impacts

  • Domestic trade will remain hampered by dollar shortages and high import duties for food and other commodities.
  • Inflation will be higher over the short term in poorer, northern areas affected by insecurity and displacement crises.
  • Buhari’s protectionism will test the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)'s initial effectiveness, particularly in West Africa.
  • States such as Morocco looking to sell goods cheaply to the Nigerian market will benefit from a reopening and AfCFTA's operationalisation.
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