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Reactions as FG Open Borders

The Federal Government has been commended by Stakeholders in the economy for reopening the borders, welcoming it as a quick means of escaping recession comes 2021.

The National President of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, said the decision to reopen four of the nation’s land borders is a pleasant development and one of the important strategic move by the federal government.

According to her, “NACCIMA has on several occasions called for the opening of these land borders for numerous reasons including the negative impact of their closure on our economy since August 2019. When hints were given sometimes in November 2020 by the minister of finance that the Committee she headed had and recommended the opening of these land borders, we lauded that move and called for immediate action to that effect.

“We are delighted that President Muhammadu Buhari has heeded the call and approved the recommendations to re-open the borders.

“As a major economic player in the West African sub-region, this decision will surely help our image and commitment to remain a major economic player in the sub-region.  It is a positive decision because trade across our land borders is an important component of our cross border trade which can help boost operations of our SMEs engaged in export of non-oil products through the land borders.”

She also commended the move as she said it will enhance the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“This is a clear signal of our readiness to effectively trade under the agreement. Since the reopening comes with the announcement that the ban on importation of rice poultry and other banned products remains, we call on security agencies to also ensure effective border patrol.

“As we look forward to year 2021, we sincerely hope that the full opening of all our land borders will have the desired effect in our concerted efforts to rebuild and reposition the economy, which was greatly affected by COVID-19 among other challenges this year,” she added.

On his part, the Apapa branch Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said the border should never have been closed because there are officials monitoring activities at the border posts.

The Chairman, Frank Ike Onyebu who stated this welcomed the idea,  advising that adequate security should be provided at the border in order to curb smuggling.

“There is no way a country should close its borders, it doesn’t work that way, we should not shut out the entire African market because of illicit activities. The government should provide adequate and proper security that is sincere to man the border.

“So, what I am saying is that the government should formulate and implement better policies, the immigration and the customs are there, and they should perform their duties.”  

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