Abebe Selassie, Director of African Department at the International Monetary Fund, has lauded Nigeria on the closure of its land border.
According to TheCable, Selassie said this at the ongoing World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C.
Selassie said although free trade was critical to the economic growth of the continent, it must be legal and in line with agreements.
He said, “On the border closure in Nigeria which has been impacting Benin and Niger, our understanding is that the action reflects concerns about smuggling that has been taking place.
“It is about illegal trade, which is not what you want to facilitate.”
He said the IMF was hoping for a speedy resolution of the issues as the action was already taking a toll on the economies of Nigeria’s neighbours.
He added, “We are very hopeful that discussions will resolve the challenges that this illegal trade is posing.
“If the border closure is to be sustained for a long time, it will definitely have an impact on Benin and Niger which of course, rely quite extensively on the big brother next door.”