Ecowas Sets up Committee to Look into Nigeria Border Closure

The Economic Community of West African States have formed a committee to study and make a full report on the closure of Nigerian land borders.

The decision was reached Sunday at an extraordinary meeting of the heads of government of West African nations on the sidelines of the 33rd AU summit in Ethiopia, Nigeria’s presidency spokesman, Garba Shehu said in emailed statement.

The committee, headed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso will examine all the countries affected by the closed boundaries and summit its report to the body for further decisions.

“The President of Burkina Faso is charged with undertaking a full study of the situation, make a report and then we take it from there” the statement cited Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama as saying.

No timeline is given for the submission of the report.

In August last year, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the partial closure of the country’s boundary with Benin to curb smuggling of rice, a staple. In October, his administration further restricted the trade of all goods across the land borders to curb smuggling from Benin and Niger into the continent’s most-populous nation.