Border Closure: Traders’ Union Demands Compensation For Trapped Goods In Neighbouring Countries

The National Association of Nigerian Traders has called on the Federal Government to adopt a compensation mechanism for genuine traders (importers and exporters) whose goods have been trapped at various borders due to the closure.


The Federal Government had in August 2019, closed the borders to its neighboring countries, with the aim of curbing smuggling activities around the porous frontiers as well as to allow for growth in the nation’s local production capacity.

NANT while commending the effort of the government to reopen the borders, said the call for traders compensation was intended to ensure that genuine traders are not sanctioned alongside smugglers and other criminal actors who evade duty and tariff payments or circumvent import and export procedures.

Speaking at a stakeholder dialogue in Abuja, the National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ken Ukaoha said, “The Government should set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee composed of the public and private sector to inspect all the stranded goods at the borders with a view to taking accurate data and documentations, identifying and ascertaining ownership for transparency, and recommending actions towards effective handover to their legitimate owners.

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee should consider a compensation mechanism for genuine traders (importers and exporters) whose goods have been trapped at various borders due to the closure.”

Ukaoha, speaking further, urged the government to ensure that agencies in charge of border and corridor operations including security personnel are scrutinized and sanitized so that the nation could effectively reap from the benefits of the strong signals that are already sent through the border closure and not relapse the gains.


“Government should activate effective monitoring and compliance with the extant regional trade rules, including the Inter-State Transit Protocol, the ETLS, CET, and work towards ensuring that ECOWAS enacts a common trade Policy which is necessary for efficient operationalization of regional trade.

“Nigeria should also quickly sign into and adopt the SIGMA technology designed by ECOWAS as a means of ensuring interconnectivity between and among all Customs Administrations of ECOWAS Member States to monitor real time movement of goods across the region,” he added.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, had earlier announced the government’s plans to reopen the borders.

She had said, “We have made an assessment. The President set up a committee and we have made an assessment and all the members of the committee agreed and are recommending to the president that it is time to reopen the borders.

“The objective has been met in the sense that we have been able, over these couple of months, to work together with our partners in a tripartite committee and do a joint border patrol together and reinforce the sanctity of the commitments that we made to each other. So, each side has learnt its lessons.


“We will be expecting that the borders will be reopened very soon. The date will be decided by Mr President.”



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