The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria stated that the continued closure of the nation’s land borders is damaging to the Nigerian economy.
“There is a definite urgency to reopen the borders and re-establish that the normal protocol and normal trade treaties continue to take place because it is in our interest,” MAN President, Ahmed Mansur, urged the Federal Government on Thursday.
In August 2019, the Federal Government of Nigeria directed that all its land borders be closed so that the illegal importation of goods into the country from neighboring West African countries can be controlled.
Zainab Ahmed, The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, recently disclosed plans by the Federal Government to reopen the land borders in the near future.
According to the President of MAN, one year is enough time to address the reasons for the border closure.
He also said that some Nigerian manufacturers exporting goods through the land borders may permanently lose their market share in the West African market should the border closure continues.
“We are aware that the border closure is a two-way thing; it affects us and it also affects our neighbours. Since the closure last year August, our (West African) neighbours have recognised the futility of what they were doing and the need to respect agreements.
“There may be need to put in place further arrangements to ensure that the purposes with which the borders were closed are not defeated,” he submitted.
Mansur said his association body has been in constant dialogue with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ministries of trade and finance as well as various Nigerian agencies including the Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Standards Organization of Nigeria, amongst others.
“Many of the agencies have been looking inward to see what they can do to improve their operations. For instance, we are aware that the Customs Services is now introducing more computerized systems for import control. I believe the agencies are rising to the occasion.”
“I believe that the issues that necessitated the border closure in the first instance have significantly been ameliorated and under such circumstances, it is counterproductive to continue to keep the borders closed.”