“Ndubuisi – your country Nigeria is losing its position in West Africa. As a government worker here in Senegal, I have been involved in four meetings where most other West African countries gathered with no Nigerian representative. The land border closure is the root cause of the decisions. Nigeria has imagined that any West African country has the magic wand to smuggling and can help protect its borders. Our big brother failed to understand that we are all victims at different levels.
The post-Nigerian era in West Africa has started and everyone is looking for alternatives. It is painful that unlike before where meetings began with Nigeria, no one cares anymore. My uncle’s seven trucks are trapped in Nigeria for months, for going there to bring in legal goods, purchased from a Nigerian factory. Nigeria will not allow the trucks to return even empty. Because the goods were prepaid, and the consignments since gone bad, the man is now depressed. He wished he bought from China, not from his friend of 30 years in Nigeria.” From a friend in Senegal.
People, it should not be surprising that Abuja is reading about the UEMOA-ECO name change from newspapers. These West African countries are running new playbooks knowing that relying on Nigeria would be damaging. I do hope our government is paying attention to the disintermediation risks.