Lagos — Following the closure of the nation’s borders, there has been a steady increase in the number of casualties as five importers whose goods are trapped in the Port of Cotonou, in the Republic of Benin have passed on.
The cause of their death according to Mr. Gordon Ogonanya, former border coordinator of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA was also due to the bank loans they collected to finance their imports.
Their inability to bring their cargoes to Nigeria from Benin to sell and pay back their loans became an issue for most the importers whose goods were still trapped in Cotonou.
Ogonanya also said that at a point the importers who were affected by the border closure thought the borders will be opened after a month adding that most of them had projected the re-opening of the border and planned ahead only for their plans to be aborted by the continued closure.
He explained that besides the facts that these cargoes trapped in Cotonou have gone into demurrage, they also took bank loans to finance these imports.
“I know of five importers that have died a result of this border closure, they good are trapped in Cotonou Port and interests was also accruing on the loans they took from the Banks to finance their imports.
Ogonanya also said to save more importers from dying, the government as a matter of urgency them a respite by re-opening the borders and allow genuine importers come in with their cargoes and then it can re-closed the borders afterwards.
He also disclosed that Nigerian bound cargoes trapped in the Port of Cotonou were already in demurrage, an extra cost importers have to pay.