Niger’s Chamber of Commerce Responds to Benin’s Lifting of Import Restrictions

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

The Autonomous Port of Cotonou announced on December 27 the lifting of the ban on the importation of goods from Niger. However, containers disembarked cannot enter Niger through the borders of Benin, which are still closed due to the economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS. Some goods can bypass these restrictions by transiting through Burkina Faso. Nevertheless, the news from Cotonou may not be well-received by the Nigerien Chamber of Commerce.

Anticipating the response from the junta in Niamey, the Chamber of Commerce in Niger has proactively addressed the situation. In a statement to economic operators, its president, Moussa Sidi, reiterated that the ECOWAS sanctions, which he deems illegal, are still in effect.

According to him, the closure of borders aims to block all commercial transactions with Niger. Consequently, the statement emphasizes that the chamber encourages traders to continue using the ports of Lomé in Togo and the Burkinabe trade corridors to transit goods. These two routes have been used to supply the country since the coup in July.

Since the onset of the crisis, thousands of trucks laden with goods bound for Niger were stranded in Benin due to the sanctions. To avoid stock shortages, Niamey had sought collaboration with Togo and Burkina Faso for transit facilities, resulting in the establishment of a corridor. Large convoys, secured by the Burkinabe and Nigerien armies, have been continuously delivering essential supplies to Niger.

The border closures led to a surge in prices of essential commodities such as rice and oil. The lifting of the suspension by the Port of Cotonou comes after Benin President Patrice Talon expressed his willingness to negotiate with the junta and restore diplomatic relations with Niamey in a national address.

Soukaina Sghir

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