President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the opening of four Nigerian land borders including Seme, Illela, Maigatari and Mfun.
Aide to President Buhari on social media, Bashir Ahmad, posted the news on Twitter on Wednesday evening.
The statement did not say why the border was reopened, although citizens had long hoped to see it.
But President Buhari’s media adviser Garba Shehu said the decision to open the border was a result of a decision by a special commission set up by the president on the issue of closing the border.
But before then the cooperation of neighboring countries on the problems that led to the closure of the borders had to be achieved.
In August 2019, President Buhari’s government closed all land borders in what it called an open crackdown on drug smuggling and weapons smuggling that poses a threat to security.
The government said the reasons included its efforts to curb the importation of rice into the country in an effort to boost domestic rice production. Leaders of Nigeria’s neighboring countries have long urged him to open the border.
The Nigerian borders opened for now are between Niger and Benin.
Nigeria’s land borders: What do experts say about opening the borders?
Experts have already started commenting, with Dr Abdurrazak Ibrahim Fagge, head of the Department of Economics at Yusuf Maitama Sule University in Kano, saying that opening borders is the best option.
“These borders have been closed for a long time now, I personally think it is better to impose other measures such as taxation and licensing and reduce the amount of imports, instead of closing the borders completely.
“The closure has caused a lot of problems for the government itself, which has recently seen the country’s economic data center find a sharp drop in the third quarter of this year in terms of trade between Nigeria and other countries, partly due to COVID-19.
“This has led to a fall of more than N2 trillion. Now that the government has decided to start importing crude oil from Niger, there is no way it will continue to close its borders ” he said.