Despite Recession, Nigeria Drags Feet on Reopening of Borders

The Nigerian government appears not in a hurry to reopen its borders despite advice from experts that lifting the blockade will help check its worst recession in decades, and ease the hardship faced by its citizens.

Nigeria fell into its second recession in five years in the third quarter of 2020, GDP data released by the National Bureau of Statistics weekend showed.

Many experts have argued that the government will have to spend its way out, and empower citizens to spend more.

But a border closure that has been in place since August 2019 has seen prices skyrocket, with inflation at a 30-month high, posing a challenge for increased spending.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari will soon receive a report of a presidential committee to advise on the reopening of the nation’s borders.

Mrs Ahmed was spoke in Abuja at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting.

She said although the committee set up by Mr Buhari had done an assessment of the gains of the closure and had recommended to the president to reopen the borders, the report had not been submitted.

The committee has as members the ministers of finance, budget and national planning, interior and foreign affairs.

She said the report will be submitted “once members of the committee sign the report”.

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