Border closure for two years will eradicate insecurity, says Emefiele
‘It’s Reviving Moribund Industries’
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, says if the closure of the land borders is sustained for the next two years, the issue of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping will be eradicated.
Emefiele stated this at the first Convocation Lecture of Edo University, Iyamho, Auchi, yesterday.
The CBN governor, while responding to questions after his lecture entitled ‘The Role of Monetary Policy towards Economic Growth in Nigeria’, said the border closure was capable of tackling all the country’s security challenges.
He explained that if the youth, who were in vices, were gainfully engaged, insecurity would reduce to the barest minimum.
“I can tell you that if our borders remain closed for two years, the issue of Boko Haram, kidnapping, banditry and Yahoo-Yahoo will stop. CBN will promote this policy by making sure that we produce what we consume and eat what we produce,” he added.
He vowed that the apex bank would not allow the country to be used as dumping ground for smuggled goods.
Emefiele, however, decried the actions of some neighbouring countries, which he said was not helping matters.
According to him, instead of some neighbouring countries to develop policies to grow their own economies, they rather engage in things that undermine the Nigerian economy, adding that when Nigeria increased import duty on rice to discourage importation, neighbouring countries reduced their duties.
Meanwhile, the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) says the border closure has not only curtailed importation of smuggled textile materials into Nigeria, but is reviving the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) sub sectors.
President of the association, Mr. Anibe Achimugu, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.
Lauding the policy, he said that the reduction in the influx of textile materials into the country boosted the morale of players in the subsector to get back to work.
According to him, the major advantage of the closure is the control it has brought to the importation of smuggled textile materials, including used clothes.
“The closure has reduced that significantly, but that also put a burden on us to fill the gap. We have to start developing our internal capacities to meet the needs of Nigerians.
“The association is fully in support of the partial closure of borders. Internally, we must come up with strategies to ensure that we protect our local markets and industries,” he said.
Government had on August 21 ordered a partial closure of the borders to check smuggling around Benin, Niger and Chad republics.
The smuggling routes around the country are borders in Seme-Lagos, Jibiya-Katsina, Idiroko-Ogun, Illela-Koni-Sokoto, Kabo, Saki, Sikanda-Oyo among others.