Nigeria gives tough conditions to border re-opening

The Nigerian government has released its pre-conditions to re-opening its land borders with Republic of Benin and Niger.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama who announced the conditions in Abuja hinted that those conditions must be met before the January 31st reopening dates.

In a statement issued to a joint committee on the matter, Onyeama said:

“So we (Nigeria committee) met to look at the situation and we have agreed on a set of conditions. Now, these conditions are as follows:

“That it is an absolute requirement of the government of Nigeria that any import coming through our land borders, when those imports transit in goods, that is to say when they are coming from outside the ECOWAS region and imported into an ECOWAS member state, that those goods should retain their original packaging.

“There should be no modification whatsoever to the packaging of those goods imported into an ECOWAS member state destined for Nigeria.”

He added, “They (goods) must be escorted from the port directly to the designated entry point in Nigeria border, so presented to Nigeria customs with the packaging intact and those goods escorted.

“This is an absolute condition that will not be compromised; So any transit in goods coming into this country from transiting ECOWAS member state must ensure that.

“For goods predominantly produced in ECOWAS member states, the rules of origin must be satisfied.”

Apart from these conditions, Nigeria also demanded for the dismantling of all the warehouses in close proximity to the Nigerian land borders.

It is not clear if all the neighbouring countries to Nigeria in the region will be able to meet the conditions.

Ghana, Republic of Benin, Togo and Niger are yet to officially comment on the matter.