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Beware of economic saboteurs over border closure, group tells Buhari

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Social Integrity Network (SINET) has faulted report credited to Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, in which he described the border closure as unsustainable.

The group expressed disappointment that in spite of his knowledge that influx of foreign products would affect local manufacturers, Ajayi-Kadiri wanted the Federal Government to open the nation’s borders at the expense of the Nigerian economy.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Issah, it alerted the Federal Government to a possible collapse of several local rice factories, which would eventually frustrate the nation’s economic diversification drive, insisting that the President should beware of economic saboteurs.

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Arguing that banks might also be negatively affected if foreign rice continued to flood the nation’s markets, Issah noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of economic experts into his cabinet has further cleared Nigerians’ doubt on salient financial and economic matters.

SINET commended the Federal Government for adopting policies capable of overhauling the nation’s economic fortunes amidst numerous global challenges, stressing, “Government’s recent decision on treasury bills has clearly shown that the era of looting tax payers’ money was over in the country.”

The group also raised the alarm over attempts by some groups to mount pressure on the President to re-open the Nigerian borders, saying that does not reflect the overall interest of Nigerians and that the move was sponsored by a few economic saboteurs.

“While the nation is counting the gains of border closure, especially in economic recovery, revenue generation and reduction of insurgency, it is sad that some unpatriotic fellows want the policy reversed.

“With the border closure, many industries have commenced operations, thereby providing more jobs for Nigerians, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has invested heavily on local manufacturers by providing them loans.

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“Unfortunately, with the efforts of rice farmers and rice millers towards ensuring that the nation remains self-sufficient in rice production, it is surprising that foreign rice are already getting back into the country,” he said.

He maintained that the effect of such unwholesome moves by some cartel would have negative impact on the nation’s economic diversification drive, stressing that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and CBN recently rolled out various economic gains of border closure, while influx of arms and ammunitions has reduced drastically.

Insisting that the Federal Government should extend the border closure, as the economy was not ready for distraction, SINET, however, advised government to engage the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to be checking warehouses that may have foreign rice and impose sanctions on culprits in the collective interest of Nigerians.

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