IMPORTER AND EXPORTER

'Importer and Exporter' is a visual exploration of the life and risk involved in the line of duty of the 'Okada' riders (commercial motorcyclists) at Idi-Iroko, Ogun State, Nigeria, the border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic. Lots of illegal importation and exportation activities happen on a daily basis at this border which is one of the busiest land borders in the region. The movement of people and goods on ‘Okada’ is the commonest sight. It is a high risk energy consuming daily 'hustle' for these riders; due to the narrow and rough road they go through as well as the risk of been arrested by the Customs Service officials, who seize their bikes and impound the goods they carry. The ban on rice importation via land borders is still in place but smugglers continue to rake in megabucks. According to one 'Rosho', a father of one; who left his last employment as a trailer boy over a year ago to start riding ‘Okada’, has successfully built a 3-bedroom bungalow for his family in his hometown. Making as much as 20,000 Naira daily (more than a bank teller's pay), is a good reason for him and other riders to continue with the business, not minding the risks involved. Movement across the border on ‘Okada’ through the ‘back door’, is a major means of transporting goods believed to be contrabands, hence, the high charges by the riders. The geographical location of the town (the border), has helped lots of young people get busy making money, it has also caused some of them to abandon school right from their primary education level.