Why Close Borders After Signing a ‘Free Trade’ Agreement?

The Nigerian government has announced the closure of all its land borders to restrict the movement of certain goods. The consequence of this is explicit in the outcry of citizens and those in neighbouring countries.

However, earlier this July, prior to the closure, the government signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which proposes the removal of tariffs on 90 per cent of the goods traded between the signatories to the agreement, and ensure free and convenient movement of goods across borders; Trading under the AfCFTA would start in July 2020. But Nigeria’s closure of its borders, however, iterates the country’s lack of commitment to the agreement.

The government justifies the border closure by arguing it is a necessity towards curbing smuggling activities and protecting local production of rice, the country’s most demanded staple food. Instead of helping the rice market, the closure is making life miserable for innocent Nigerians….

To read more, check full article on The Nigerian Tribune Newspaper.