Nigeria reopens borders after more than a year

Nigeria will open four border crossing points immediately, more than a year after closing all its land frontiers in an effort to crack down on smuggling.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (December 16) the government approved the reopening of crossings in the North West, South West and South with the rest reopening at the end of the year.

Levies will be kept on imports of rice and some other products.

Nigeria closed its land borders last year to curb the smuggling of rice and arms which it says threatens efforts to boost local production and security. It also sought to generate state revenues through import duties.

But that protectionist approach did not fit with Nigeria's membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area which is due to be launched in January.

Despite initial reluctance to join the 3.4-trillion-dollar economic bloc, for fear of exposing local industries to to dumping by countries outside Africa, the government ratified its membership last month.

Video Transcript

- Nigeria will open four border crossing points immediately, more than a year after closing all its land frontiers in an effort to crack down on smuggling. At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the government approved the reopening of crossings in the North West, South West, and South with the rest reopening at the end of the year.

Levies will be kept on imports of rice and some other products. Nigeria closed its land borders last year to curb the smuggling of rice and arms, which it says threatens efforts to boost local production and security. It also sought to generate state revenues through import duties.

But that protectionist approach did not fit with Nigeria's membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which is due to be launched in January. Despite initial reluctance to join the $3.4 trillion economic bloc for the fear of exposing local industries to dumping by countries outside Africa, the government ratified its membership last month.