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Nigeria opens land, air borders with Niger Republic

President Bola Tinubu has directed the opening of Nigeria’s land and air borders with the Republic of Niger and the lifting of other sanctions against that country with immediate effect.

This directive complies with the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government at its extraordinary summit on Feb. 24 in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ECOWAS leaders have agreed to lift economic sanctions against the Republic of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

The border has been officially closed since August 2023, following a military coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.

The Niger-Nigeria border is 1,608 kilometres in length and runs from the tripoint with Benin in the west to the tripoint with Chad in the east.

A statement by presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said the president directed that the sanctions imposed on the Niger Republic be lifted immediately.

The lifted sanctions included the closure of land and air borders between Nigeria and the Niger Republic, as well as the ECOWAS no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from the Niger Republic.

The suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between Nigeria and Niger, as well as the freeze of all service transactions, including utility services and electricity to the Niger Republic,

The freeze of assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks and the freeze of assets of the Republic of Niger, state enterprises, and parastatals in commercial banks.

Also lifted is the suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID and BOAD, and travel bans on government officials and their family members.

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Tinubu also approved the lifting of financial and economic sanctions against the Republic of Guinea. (NAN)

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