The Federal Government has admitted that its decision to close border is contributing to increase in food prices in Nigeria.

The Minister of Finance/Budget /National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, opened up on the rising inflation in the country on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, while fielding questions State House Correspondents in Abuja, after the Federal Executive Council.

She said inflation has increased due to hikes in food prices arising from border closure.

The FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over the FEC meeting on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. [Twitter/@NGRPresident]
President Muhammadu Buhari presides over the FEC meeting on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. [Twitter/@NGRPresident]

According to Punch, the minister said that the closure of the borders was a temporary measure adopted by the government to protect the economy against trade malpractices by neighbouring countries.

She said, “We are still discussing with our neighbours to ensure that we all respect our trade protocols, especially now that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is coming into effect.”

Meanwhile, as part of effort to address smuggling of illegal goods into Nigeria, the federal government recently ordered that petroleum products should not be supplied to petrol stations within 20km of the borders.

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari while explaining the reason for closing Nigeria borders, said that the partial closure of the border with Benin Republic, was due to the massive smuggling activities, especially of rice, taking place on that corridor.