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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Nigeria/Benin transborder trade, border control, and the Nigerian structural adjustment program
Author:Asiwaju, A.I.ISNI
Series:Working papers
City of publisher:Boston, MA
Publisher:African Studies Center
Geographic terms:Benin
Subjects:economic policy
border control
illicit trade
Abstract:A case study of Nigeria-Benin border trade using statistical data gathered in the course of the last ten years indicates the structural nature and character of informal transborder transactions via contraband and underscores the inherent inadequacy of trying to use the police apparatus for its control. While 'genuine trade' across the Nigeria-Benin border forms an almost negligible proportion of the external trade of each of the two countries, the volume and value of 'illegal trade' or smuggling across the same border are much larger than the size of officially recorded trade. If the border is essentially a 'barrier' in respect of 'genuine trade', it is virtually a 'conduit' with regard to the clandestine movement of goods, a state of affairs arising as a result of the sharply defined situation of disequilibrium between the two national economies in mutual interaction. The clandestine dimensions of transborder business can be resolved only through a policy instrument aimed at confronting the border-created asymmetries; in other words, the border itself needs to be deregulated. The value of border-specific policies is demonstrated by some fallouts from Nigeria's structural adjustment programme, specifically the open license policy regarding the exportation of cocoa and the dissolution of the Cocoa Board, a measure which has dealt a decisive blow to the issue of price differential regarding purchase in Nigeria vis--vis purchase in neighbouring Benin.