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Border Closure: Ghana begs Nigeria to open its borders

The Republic of Ghana has begged Nigeria to re-open its borders through its Foreign Minister and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

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Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana

The Republic of Ghana, through its Foreign Minister and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has begged Nigeria to re-open its borders. Ghana said it had been heavily affected by Nigeria’s decision to close its borders.

Botchwey stated that Ghana was determined to make Nigeria rescind its decision by exploiting diplomatic avenues. She was optimistic that Nigeria would re-open its Western borders for free flow of goods from Ghana to the subregion.

She made this plea during a meeting with Nigeria’s High Commission to Ghana, Olufemi Michael Abikoye on Tuesday.

As we speak, Nigerian goods are entering Ghana without any problem and I think that we should find ways of isolating the issues and the countries that you have problems with so that Ghana’s exports can enter your market without being lumped up with all these issues that have emerged,” she said

[READ ALSO: Border closure affecting revenue and Nigeria is not food sufficient – So Fresh co-founder, Olagoke Balogun]

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Why this matters: Nairametrics gathered that members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) recorded huge losses owing to the closure of the border.

  • Several truckloads of goods were detained at the Seme border between Benin and Nigeria for weeks and returning to use seaports to transport the goods would only complicate the issues.
  • Further investigations by Nairametrics disclosed that Nigeria ranked highly as one of the major export destinations for Ghana, in ECOWAS. Also, Nigeria’s decision to close its southern borders is a contravention of the ECOWAS treaty on trade and exports of goods and services, according to President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng.
  • If this border closure continues, Ghana can lose its trade market which will affect its role in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
  • Besides, border smuggling is one of the ways the Ghana Export Promotion Authority utilizes in boosting Ghana’s exports, particularly non-traditional ones.

The agony of the Benin farmers: Benin Republic is also affected by the border closure. According to farmers, dozens of baskets of tomatoes, pineapple and other fruits and vegetables have gone bad due to the border closure.

seme border

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Biggest Gainers: The biggest gainer of the border closure is Nigeria. While food prices have gone up, Nigeria may be able to boost local production of food items and manufactured goods.

The Nigeria Customs Service also seems to be enjoying this closure as they described it as the most successful and effective measure so far adopted, in terms of curtailing the influx of smuggled rice and other goods to the country.

The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali, revealed that the agency’s revenue rose to over N5bn daily, since the closure. He also added that more than 200 illegal immigrants were apprehended across the border and thousands of bags of rice and other contrabands confiscated.

On his part, Nigerian High Commissioner, Olufemi Abikoye promised to sort the situation even though he noted that Ghana wasn’t the reason why the border was closed.

At the end of it, we’re helping our economies”, he stated.

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[READ ALSO: Border closure: Manufacturers lament losses incurred daily]

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Backstory: Recall the Federal Government of Nigeria ordered the complete closure of the Nigerian border, placing a ban on both legitimate and illegitimate movement of goods in and out of the country.

This is coming after the President announced the partial closure of the Nigeria-Benin border on August 20th with the exercise code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’. The measure was taken to restrict the massive illegal importation of rice into Nigeria and ensure trans-border security issues.

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Vince

    October 16, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    I am presently residing in New York City and I’ve been following the trends and happenings around the Nigerian border.
    It is interesting to note that our neighbors are feeling the effects of the border closure and yet they call Nigerians names including fraudsters.
    If the customs and other security apparel can implement fully the border closure, it will better the Nigerian economy.
    This is a welcome development

    • Anonymous

      November 2, 2019 at 11:23 am

      Exactly my thoughts too my bro. You said it all!

  2. Olushola

    October 22, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    It is not an easy decision.
    This is the best thing this govt has done in the 4 and half years of its existence.
    I hope will can close those borders for at least 3years more and see the impact on our economy and foreign reserves. ECOWAS can keep shouting for all I care. Nigeria first, ECOWAS is second for us now.
    I hope the politicians will have the gut to stay put on this decision.

  3. Phillips Yabiteigha

    October 24, 2019 at 6:02 am

    I did not know that we are this important to our west African neighbours until this border closure,our neighbours have never treated us well,you need to travel through the republic of Benin down to Accra and see how Nigerians are embarrassed, I think this is pay back time, let them know our importance,

  4. Haliman Adeyinka

    November 2, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    The policy is very good but the problem with majority of Nigerians is that it hard for them to endeour for things to take shape. Because prices of those items like bag of rice, basket of tomatoes skin -leader which are producing in Nigeria are too exorbitant compared to what it use to be.

  5. Sonny Paul Imolode

    November 3, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Simply put, this is the best economic decision ever taken by any government in Nigeria. Definitely, if sustained, we shall, in no distant time, witness a geometric boost in our economy and job creation. Nigeria cannot continue to be a dumping ground and suffer in the midst of plenty. For Nigeria to grow economically, this bother closure must remain permanent.

  6. Hudson Monday Ejise

    November 4, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    One of the best economic policies ever introduced by this administration. I love and welcome it wholeheartedly

  7. Obinna

    November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

    This is the only good thing this administration has ever done since 2015.

  8. Oyelakin Abdulwasiu Oyesina.

    November 11, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    By the closure of these borders, Nigeria, the sleeping giant of Africa is gradually waking up from slumber. We can only feel the heat for a while. At the end of the day, we will gain a lot. This is the best step ever to be taken by any government in Nigeria so far. We should keep it up.

  9. Joe

    November 18, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    absolutely i cannot agree more with the writers, If Neighboring countries failed to obey the protocol rules too bad . Nigeria should never continue to be a receiving end and dumping ground. The tariff on goods to Nigerian ports should be reduced so that Benin republic will not continue as an alternative ports for transshipment of goods .The Best Policy Buhari administration to helping boost local made goods . Henceforth Nigerian Customs should be working with the army , and other task agency as to ensure corruption at the border post kept to bearest minimum level . Lastly no time table be given for Nigeria border opening. because Nigeria land border has been porous for very long time., and no any countr was a target but for security reason and illegal goods coming to Nigeria was the reason for the Nigeria border closure

    • Anonymous

      January 20, 2020 at 1:48 am

      Let’s boost Nigeria economy i supported the closure of border, it will remain close till the growth of our country economy.

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Hospitality & Travel

34.5% decline in aviation jet fuel daily sufficiency, a worry for airline companies

Decline in daily aviation fuel sufficiency worry airlines as air passengers are expected to increase in the festive season.

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Airline operators will pay $3,500 per passenger if they break protocols – PTF COVID-19, Global Air passenger slump to persists til 2023- Moody’s 2023- Moody’s

The 34.5% decline in the daily sufficiency of aviation jet fuel may constitute a worry for airline companies in the country.

Considering that there is usually more people traveling due to the traditional Christmas and New Year festivities, resulting in increased flight patronage, the current total stock level appears to be low.

The observation is according to the daily petroleum products days sufficiency (total stock level data) compiled by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

In line with the data available on the PPPRA website,

  • The current total stock level of Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), also known as aviation jet fuel or Jet-A1, stands at 89.04 million litres.
  • Eleven days earlier, the total stock level was 135.83 million litres – indicating a 34.5% decline.
  • Before now and since the start of the 2020, total stock level has been relatively unstable, with the recent highest total stock level of 187.40 million litres recorded on the 2nd of October 2020 – indicating about 60 days sufficiency; and the lowest 54.96 million litres was recorded on the 17th of July – about 18 days sufficiency.
  • As at the time the latest report was released, 27th November 2020, the total ATK stock was land-based stock.
  • Checks indicate there has been no receipt of ATK from the 19th of November, after the last receipt of 5.56 million litres on the 18th of November.

What they are saying

Speaking to Nairametrics regarding the decline, the MD/CEO of Jushad Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr. Bosun Paseda, submitted that the decline is due to the continuous increase in the exchange rate.

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He said, “The exchange rate is very high and unstable. You will discover that importers do not have access to the CBN rate and have to make recourse to the parallel market. The landing cost is currently higher than the rate we sell at the airport. That’s why marketers do not want to bring the product.

“Scarcity is likely to set in, but the reason there is no scarcity yet is because people are not really flying. If it stays the same, then scarcity may set in, when travel increases.”

Responding to the question on whether the decline in stock has affected the price of the product, Mr Paseda noted that it has not really affected the price of the product as consumption is currently low.

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What you should know

Nairametrics recently reported that oil markets yearned for airlines to resume operations following several months of not operating due to the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

  • Aside from the loss of revenues to airline companies, the call was necessary considering that Jet fuel demand averages about 8 million barrels per day worldwide – indicating that oil companies were also not recording enough revenues.
  • As a result of the pandemic, the International Energy Agency expects demand for Jet fuel and Kerosene to fall by 2.1 million bpd on average in 2020. This has, however, improved following lifting of travel restrictions in many countries.

Now that flights have resumed operations, it appears airline companies in the country may be in line to face another hurdle before the year runs out. The likelihood of facing this hurdle is highly contingent on receipt of ATK used in powering flights and increased travels. If things remain the same in terms of daily sufficiency of ATK needed to power their flights, scarcity may set in.

  • Remember that the lowest ATK of 54.96 million litres – about 18 days sufficiency, recorded on the 17th of July, was during travel restrictions. The decline in that period didn’t create concerns and it picked up days later.

What this means

  • With the national average daily consumption of ATK three million litres, this depicts that current total stock level of 89.04 million litres will only sustain for about 30 days, all things being equal.
  • Even though it appears this stock level is good, the steady decline in the stock level as illustrated in the graph above raises immediate concerns.
  • Also, one may conclude that receipt of ATK has stalled in recent days, having received only a total of 12.68 million litres in the last two weeks, since 12th November. This observation appears to denote that should the product receipt trend continue, scarcity may occur in the near future.

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Economy & Politics

Governors to meet on Wednesday over rising insecurity

The governors of the 36 States of the federation will hold an emergency virtual meeting to discuss growing insecurity in the country.

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Oil Price Crash: Governors to meet on budgetary and economic issues, Insecurity: Governors to meet on Wednesday over rising insecurity

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has announced that the Governors of the 36 States will hold an emergency virtual meeting to discuss the recent killings and kidnappings by terrorist groups, and agree on a new national security plan to secure the lives of citizens.

This was disclosed in a statement by Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, on Monday in Abuja.

(READ MORE: Labour leaders reportedly walk-out on Ministers over fuel, electricity price hike)

The NGF disclosed in its statement that the Governors would also receive updates on the events following the disbandment of the SARS alongside the rising insecurity.

Other issues that will be discussed by the Governors include:

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  • CACOVID funding palliatives and updates across the states.
  • Joint meetings between the CBN and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on accessing pension funds to finance infrastructure development.
  • Updates on the ASUU strike. Issues related to Stamp Duty and the Water Resources Bill will also be discussed at the meeting.

What you should know 

There has been a rise in reported cases of kidnappings and killings by terrorists groups and bandits, especially in Northern Nigeria.

Nairametrics reported earlier that President Muhammadu Buhari had condemned the killing of farmers by Boko Haram on Saturday. The President added that the Federal Government had given the armed forces support to tackle insecurity in the country.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: FG to reduce fatalities by strengthening capacity – Health Minister

The Minister said that the ministry plans to increase its capacity to battle the disease through personnel supervision.

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Minster for health, FG ignores travel ban calls despite Uganda, US, others move against coronavirus, FG reports 10 new cases of COVID-19, COVID-19: FG to inaugurate 18-man vaccine task team

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has announced plans to reduce case fatalities of the Covid-19 pandemic by focusing on improving the capability to manage the virus.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the daily Joint National Briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 in Abuja.

The Minister said that the ministry plans to increase its capacity to battle the disease through personnel supervision.

He said, “We hope to reduce case fatalities by strengthening our capacity to manage cases, but it is only possible if persons test themselves early. All cases, whether home-based or institutional are to be supervised by medical personnel. This is particularly  important, given the threat posed by the spiralling rate of infection in countries with which Nigeria has strong political, business, social, and family relations.”

(READ MORE: FG may stop interstate and inter-town travels)

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He urged Nigerians to cut off travel to high-risk countries, as the travel rate determines the risk the ministry could contain with.

“There is a correspondingly high volume of travel between Nigeria and those countries, which is what also determines the risk. I also urge all Nigerians to cut off all travels, especially international travels, most especially travels to high risk countries, except it is very urgent.”

He stated that it might take Nigeria a while before securing the vaccines, even though the country had started the process of securing access to a vaccine.

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“Although we are positioning our country for access to the Covid-19 vaccine, it may still take a while for countries to access it and for all citizens to be vaccinated. It is, therefore, more realistic that we adopt preventive measures which have proven to be successful in controlling the pandemic,” Ehanire added.

What you should know: Nairametrics reported in October that Dr. Ehanire said Nigeria increased its daily testing capacity for Covid-19 to over 3,500/day.

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