Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari spoke out on the closure of his country’s land borders to limit mass smuggling. He indicated that this measure for a limited period of time was already producing positive results for the economy.
On Friday, Muhammadu Buhari received a delegation from the Nigerian Association for the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) at the State House in Abuja. According to a report by Guardian.ng, among those present at the meeting with the President was a delegation from the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) and representatives of the organized private sector (PAHO). For Buhari, it was necessary to close the borders because of a”lack of commitment to business ideals by many stakeholders, which was detrimental to the country and its people,” says Guardian.
“After many years of diplomacy and aggressive regulatory oversight that have yielded little results, we have decided to close our land borders for a limited period of time to assess the impact of this measure. Within a few weeks, we are already seeing a decrease in counterfeit smuggling volumes in some of our major markets across the country. This validates our action as a government when we insist that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) must not only promote free trade, but also quality legal trade, made in Africa. He said.
The Nigerian President explained that the trade rules and trade activities essential to Nigeria’s economic development should be respected by everyone. However, he indicated that the government would always do everything in its power to ensure that the trade and business sector continues to prosper in terms of job creation, reports the same source.
“Unfortunately, recently, many merchants have simply not followed the rules. Our markets are flooded with contraband and counterfeit products. Through these selfish practices, we help foreign factories to operate while closing ours. From medicines to food to electronics, our ability to generate and create jobs at the local level is seriously hampered by a handful of Nigerians who prefer profits to patriotism.
We have all heard stories about the dangerous and sometimes fatal impact of fake drugs and food on our citizens. We have also seen how fake electrical devices have caused fires in homes and markets, destroying lives and property. Most of these inferior and illegal items have been smuggled across our land borders,” Buhari said.