The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Thursday asked the federal government to reconsider its decision to keep the country’s land borders closed.
The federal government in August 2019, closed the nation’s borders over rice smuggling activities and illegal transportation of government-subsidized petrol to neighbouring countries.
In a Channels television interview monitored by BizWatchNigeria, the president of the body Ahmed Mansur stated that although the closure was necessary at the time, the time has come for the government to reconsider its decision.
“We are suggesting that the border should be reopened,” he said. “The closure of the borders we believe has been far enough.
“When the border was closed, there were good reasons for it. Food importation and substandard products made it difficult for our rice farmers, for example, to succeed.
“But after one year, we are of the view that to actually ensure these malpractices, particularly trade malpractices are arrested, the relationship between us and our neighbouring countries which indeed to a large extent has contributed to the problem, should have been resolved. And therefore we believe that the normal thing will be to reopen the borders and allow normal trading to take place.”
Mansur stated that reopening the borders would be in compliance with ECOWAS’ trade liberalisation treaty, which Nigeria is a part of.