The Nigeria Government has just decided to extend the closure of Nigeria’s borders until further notice (source RFI). According to indiscretions this border could remain closed until December 2019, the mediations of President Talon will have changed nothing, Muhamadu Buhari remains straight in his boots and imposed non-negotiable requirements in Benin. I
The Talon regime has stepped up efforts to soften Nigeria’s decision to close its borders. All of these attempts have failed. Nigeria does not intend to give in even though the African giant’s authorities are open to discussions.
Nigeria demands from Benin that the importation of parboiled rice into Benin be permanently banned. Indeed this rice is not consumed by Beninese so there is no reason they import.
In addition to this requirement, Nigeria requires the Beninese authorities to put an end to the tax system for the smuggled fuel that enters smuggling into Benin. Indeed Patrice Talon had introduced a border tax that made Benin enjoyed illegal activity, a form of money laundering at the top of the state. These ways for Benin to illegally make money on the back of Nigeria who wants to grow must stop.
Finally, at the political level, Nigeria wants Talon to thaw the political crisis in his country. Nigeria seems even ready to finance the reorganization of new inclusive parliamentary elections.
It is difficult for Patrice Talon to meet all these requirements, which is why he started negotiations. However, the President of Benin has been dismissed by Nigeria, who does not want an agreement between friends but rather that Benin complies with its demands.
President Buhari’s steadfastness stems from a number of factors: firstly, the Nigerian President is supported in his approach by the businessmen and the media of his country, despite the fact that many Nigerians have been taken by surprise by this closure. Then Buhari believes that President Talon lacks humility as he is only the President of a small country that does not even represent 10% of the Lagos economy. Finally, several influential Beninese in Nigeria have chosen not to intervene in favor of Talon who will have to prove that he is as strong as he claims.
The result is catastrophic for the Beninese economy that will suffer and that until December. An official from Nigeria anonymously commented on the situation: “We have no reason to do a favor in Benin in this case, the border will remain closed because the effects of this measure must be felt otherwise the lesson will not be retained.pleasure on their leaders. These words are clear, so everyone knows what he will have to do
Beninese, Beninese you are informed, make your arrangements to prepare for very difficult months.