Following the closure of Nigerian borders in the North East, businesses in Chad have lost 50% of their revenue, the Honourary Consul in Chadian Consulate in Kano, Abubakar Assair has said.
Interviewed by Daily Trust in Yola, the Consul, who visited Adamawa State governor as well as internally displaced persons camps in the state, appealed to Nigerian authorities to ease the restriction on border with Cameroon in Adamawa to allow free flow of trade between Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.
Nigeria had sealed it’s borders at the height of Boko Haram cross border attacks to check possible movement of insurgents and weapons.
The consul said between 40 to 60 truck of supplies from Borno State alone used to cross the borders to Chad before Boko Haram crisis while Chadian business men supplied cows and other commodities to Nigerian markets.
According to him, scarcity of construction materials in Chad had stagnated infrastructure development in the country while the volume of export to Nigeria slumped.
“Before the sealing of the borders, cows from Chad arrived Nigerian markets in four days, now it takes 40 days. I met the governor to discuss ways of improving business relation with Chadians and the response was impressive. I also met with the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Police over the need to open the border where they promised to forward the matter to the federal government”, he said.
Assair denied allegations that goods looted by Boko Haram were sold freely in Chadian markets, saying Chadian authorities had always worked with Interpol to prevent stolen goods from entering the country, and that stolen goods from other countries were severally intercepted and returned to their owners even before the advent of Boko Haram insurgency.
He called on Nigerian authorities to always contact their Chadian counterparts to ascertain the nationality of suspected foreigners, saying no single Chadian had ever been confirmed to be a Boko Haram fighter.
“Nigeria is our second home. Peace in Nigeria guarantees peace in Chad and other neighboring countries. So, we are ready to work with Nigeria to ensure peace and stability”, he stated.
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