Stakeholders in Badagry, including the local government chairman and Badagry Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BACCIMA), have commended Federal Government for the reopening of four land borders in the country.
The stakeholders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Badagry that the reopening of the four land borders was a step in the right direction.
Mr Segun Onilude, Chairman, Badagry Local Government, said that the closure of Seme land border had inflicted a lot of pain and hardship on the residents of the border communities.
According to him, most residents who are into legitimate businesses were deprived of their means of livelihoods due to the 16-month border closure.
“Most of the businesses here were paralyzed, you can imagine a situation where you cannot bring in coconut and other things.
“One can see from the look of things since yesterday that our people are very happy about this development and we hope the reopening will bring normalcy to business in the town,” he said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Fatai Shokunbi, President of BACCIMA, said that reopening of the land borders was a thing of joy for business in Badagry.
“To be honest with you, businesses in Badagry Division in the last 16 months have taken a turn for worst, but with the reopening of the border, we hope for the best.
“I really commend the government for reopening the border, even though it was long overdue,” he said.
Shokunbi advised the Federal Government to find other ways of tackling insecurity in the country instead of closing border, adding that that the closure had collapsed many businesses in the country.
He urged the government to put logistics in place such that contraband would not be allowed into the country.
According to the chamber president, allowing smuggled goods into the country would paralyze the local manufacturers.
“I am appealing to the government to put logistics in place to check the influx of contraband so that the reopening will not kill local businesses,” he said.
Mr Felix Godonu, President, Hengo Youth Association, however, said the border closure had done more damage than good to the economy.
“Yes, We’re happy even though what has been lost can’t be regained.
“Legitimate business owners in the clearing and forwarding sector can go back to business,” he said.
NAN reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday, announced the immediate reopening of four land borders after the Federal Executive Council meeting held virtually in Abuja.
The Federal Government had on August 21, 2019, ordered the closure of Nigerian borders to curb smuggling of goods and weapons.
“The president has approved the reopening of four land borders, namely– Seme, South-West, Ilela, North West, Maigatari border in the North-West and North-Central and Mfum in the South-South.
“These four land borders will be opened immediately, while the remaining land borders are directed to be reopened on or before Dec. 31,’’ the minister told State House Correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.
She said that Buhari also directed that while the borders were being reopened, the ban on the importation of rice, poultry and other products would remain in force and would be implemented by the border patrol team. (NAN)
– Dec. 17, 2020 @ 17:15 GMT |