Nigeria and Niger border

Border Closure Between Nigeria and Niger Exacerbates Economic Hardships and Insecurity in the Region


The closure of Nigeria’s border with Niger, initiated in response to sanctions imposed on Niger following a military coup, has exacerbated economic hardships and insecurity in the region. The closure has particularly affected traders and communities along the border, leading to increased prices of goods and disruption of trade activities.

Despite the official closure, porous borders and lax enforcement allow some individuals to cross freely, albeit at the risk of facing challenges such as expensive transportation fees. Traders, who relied heavily on cross-border commerce, now find their businesses severely impacted, with many facing financial strain and struggling to afford basic necessities.

The economic crisis in Nigeria, compounded by the closure, has led to soaring food prices and heightened inflation rates. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s economic reforms, including the removal of fuel subsidies and currency controls, have contributed to the country’s wider economic crisis, further exacerbating the situation for border communities.

In addition to economic challenges, the closure has also worsened security concerns in the region. The escalation of conflicts between herders and farmers, along with the activities of criminal gangs, commonly referred to as “bandits,” has heightened tensions and led to displacement and loss of livelihoods.

Furthermore, the presence of multiple security checkpoints along major routes has led to instances of corruption and extortion by security personnel, further burdening traders and road users. This situation underscores the complex interplay between economic hardships, insecurity, and governance challenges faced by communities along the Nigeria-Niger border.