HomeCover StoriesEXCLUSIVE: How Niger border closure affects trading at Dawanau Market

EXCLUSIVE: How Niger border closure affects trading at Dawanau Market

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The closure of borders between the Niger Republic and a bloc of West African nations continues to have a devastating impact on businesses in Northern Nigeria. One of the hardest-hit areas is the Dawanau International Grains Market in Kano State, Northwest Nigeria, where cross-border economic trade has flourished for many years.

Originally established to cater to the needs of Kano by providing a steady supply of grains and serving as a storage hub for farm products, Dawanau International Grains Market has now gained international status. It has become a major supplier of grains and cash crops not just within Nigeria but also across several West African countries.

Daily News 24 reports that the recent decision to shut down the borders with Niger by the West African bloc has led to the rapid decline of businesses in the market. Traders, including those involved in exporting grains to various African countries, are suffering significant losses. The situation has worsened each day, with numerous trucks, loaded with food items and perishable goods, stranded for weeks on end.

This dire circumstance has caused great distress among traders like Ahmad Musa, who have seen their once-thriving businesses crumble.

“The border closure has affected everybody in the market. Whoever is in the North or in Niger is affected. We have loaded trucks, but going through the border is not possible. We are losing millions as some of our perishable goods rot at the borders”, he said.

Ibrahim Usman, another trader, has watched as his loaded truck has remained stagnant for over fifteen days, with each passing day diminishing his hopes of a resolution.

“This border closure is hurting us. We loaded from nine to twelve trucks, everybody, but now we cannot.” He stated.

Muttaka Isah, the President of Dawanau International Market, joins the chorus of traders in expressing concern over the impact of the Niger crisis on the market.

“All the goods we transport to Niger and other West African countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Senegal have been halted. The only place we now export to is the Benin Republic,” He said.

The enforcement of border restrictions by Nigerian authorities has not only affected trade with Niger but has also disrupted traffic in surrounding border communities, inconveniencing truck drivers who are headed to other border towns within Nigeria.

In light of the current events in West Africa, it seems that the region may be inching closer to conflict. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), presided over by Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, has given the military junta in the Niger Republic a one-week deadline to reinstate President Bazoum or risk expulsion. Although the deadline has passed, the military junta remains stubborn and has vowed to resist any forceful intervention.

Traders at the Dawanau Market, alongside countless others, are hopeful that a resolution to the crisis will be reached soon, allowing for a return to normalcy and the resumption of bustling economic activity.

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