Importer and Exporter

Importer and Exporter’ a project by Obasola explore the life of Okada’ riders (commercial motorcyclists) at the border towns between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin who engage in illegal importation and exportation of goods, especially rice.

Lots of illegal importation and exportation activities happen on a daily basis at the border towns Idi-Iroko, Nigeria, and Igolo, the Republic of Benin which is one of the busiest land borders in the region. At this border the movement of people and goods on ‘Okada’ is commonplace.

Although this is a high-risk, energy-consuming daily ‘hustle’ for these riders men like ‘Dosho’ a father of one; who left his last employment as a trailer boy in 2015 have taken on this dangerous trade.  The risk involves riding through narrow and rough roads, the risk of been arrested by security officers of both countries, who seize their bikes and impound the goods they carry when they are caught, and a lot more.

Even with the ban on rice importation via land borders imposed by the Nigerian government, these riders still continue on this high-risk business. On good days they rake in as much as 20,000 Naira daily (more than a bank teller’s pay), which many have cited as reasons for embarking on the business.


Obasola Bamigbola is a social  documentary  photographer with a focus on people and their habitual environment.+2348034965884