- IMF supported the Nigerian government's closure of its land borders
- Abebe Selassie, IMF's director of African Department, said the organisation understood that the Nigerian government closed the borders due to smuggling and other illegal trades
- Selassie, however, called for a speedy resolution of the issues surrounding the border closure, noting that it is already adversely affecting the economies of the neighbouring countries
The federal government's closure of Nigeria's land borders has been supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Abebe Selassie, the director of the African Department at the IMF, made the organisation's position known on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, USA, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Selassie said this while responding to a question on whether the border closure negates the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Selassie said although free trade was critical to Africa's economic growth and development, it must be legal and in line with agreements.
He said the IMF understood that the Nigerian government closed the border due to smuggling and other illegal trades.
He, however, called for a speedy resolution of the issues surrounding the border closure, noting that it is already adversely affecting the economies of the neighbouring countries.
“We are very hopeful that discussions will resolve the challenges that this illegal trade is posing.
“If the border closure is to be sustained for a long time, it will definitely have an impact on Benin and Niger which, of course, rely quite extensively on the big brother next door,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerians are happy with his government’s closure of all land borders.
The president who spoke through the governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu, said he decided to close the border with the sole aim of supporting local manufacturers.
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