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Nigeria’s finance minister says the country is ready to open its land borders to trade

After closing its land borders for more than a year to crack down on smuggling, Nigeria’s finance minister signals that the country is ready to reverse the closure.

26 November 2020, at 8:20am

Reuters reports that Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said those involved had learned from the closure and worked together on joint border patrols.

"We will be expecting that the borders will be reopened very soon," Ahmed told journalists, explaining that the president would determine the exact date.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, closed its land borders in late 2019 over concerns about illegal exports of price-controlled gasoline and illegal imports of food stocks such as rice and poultry, which it believed harmed local producers.

Inflation, particularly for food, rose steadily after the border closure and hit a two-year high in October.

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

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