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A motion calling for the reopening of Nigeria-Niger border shut following a military coup in Niger Republic suffered a setback in Senate on Tuesday.

The Federal Government, in August, closed all its land borders with Niger Republic as part of the sanctions on the Niger military junta, which toppled the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.


The motion titled: “Urgent need to reopen the Nigerian-Nigerien border to open up economy activities in both countries as the closure of the border has had a devastating impact on businesses in the area” was sponsored by Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (NNPP, Kano South)

Sumaila, in a his lead debate, said the border closure has led to deterioration of economic activities in many border towns in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno states.

“Many businesses are struggling to survive while some have even collapsed,” he added.

According to him, the closure runs contrary to the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria that guarantees the security and welfare of the people.

He urged the Federal Government to reconsider reopening of the borders between Nigeria and Niger to allow free movement of goods between the two countries.

He stressed that Nigeria and Niger had signed an agreement on border frequency coordination to allow free movement, therefore closing the borders runs contrary and violates that agreement.

However, in his reaction to the motion, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said the Senate had resolved to back ECOWAS resolutions on the political situation in Niger Republic.

ECOWAS announced wide ranging sanctions such as a ‘no fly zone’ over Niger and an immediate closure of its borders to force the junta to relinquish power.

Akpabio said there was the need for the Senate to get proper briefing from the military authorities before taking a position, saying the call for the reopening of the borders has security implication.

He therefore, urged Senator Kawu to withdraw the motion to allow for wider consultation and discussions before representing it.

The Kano lawmaker withdrew the motion.

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