Border Closure: Cargo Movement Surges


Following the closure of land borders across the country, a report has it that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) has recorded over one hundred (100) per cent increase in cargo movement comprising import and export.


According to the data obtained from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the airport, which is the busiest in the country, took the largest chunk of passenger and cargo movement, recording a total cargo movement of 114.13 million tons in the last nine months (January-September).

This comprised of 88.31m import and 25.82m export.

However, the 2019 figure recorded a boom from August 2019 with over 100 per cent increase compared to the 2018 figure.

This may not be unconnected to the decision of the Federal Government to shut down the land borders.

This development has therefore led to a drastic rise in cargo movement at the airport.

For instance, while 9.1m tons of cargo comprising 7.5m import and 1.6m export was recorded in August 2018, the cargo movement in August 2019 stood at 16.9m tons made up of 11.7m import and 5.2m export.

In September 2019, a total of 16.8m tons of cargo movement was recorded including 11.7m import and 5.06m export.

This was a 100 per cent increase compared to the 2018 figure which was 8.4m tons comprising 6.96m import and 1.52m export.

General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, informed that there has been a tremendous improvement in the cargo movement in recent times.

But the border closure this year has further improved the amount of import and export facilitated by the MMIA.

In the same vein, Mr Olumide Ohunayo, Director of Research, Zenith Travels, disclosed that apart from the border closure which has reduced smuggling of goods into the country through the land borders, the stability in the polity has also helped to bolster the confidence of people in doing business in Nigeria.

He further attributed the boom in cargo movement to the stability in the foreign exchange market.

It was gathered that the Murtala Muhammed Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) also generated N4.99bn in September alone which exceeded the command’s monthly revenue target of ₦674,171,230 translating to 115.6 per cent increase in customs and exercise duty collection.