Nigeria re-opens borders

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Nigeria will re-open four border crossing points immediately, a year after closing its land frontiers to crack down on smuggling, government said.

Nigeria closed its land borders last year to curb smuggling of rice and arms, which threaten efforts to boost local production and security and to generate state revenues through import duties.

Government at a cabinet meeting approved the reopening of Seme border to the south-west, Illela and Maigatari borders in north-west and Mfun in the south. Other borders will be reopened on December 31.

It kept restrictions on rice import and some other products.

Last month, government ratified membership of the African free-trade zone due to be launched in January, after initial reluctance to join for fear of exposing local industries to dumping by countries outside Africa.

Discussions to reopen Nigeria’s borders closed to the movement of goods have been going on for months. Nigeria insists on levying duties on goods transiting through neighbouring nations to curb smuggling.