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Igbo traders lament continued closure of nation’s borders

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Seme border


• Ortom assures of southeasterners safety in Benue
• Kaduna motor dealers pledge to be law abiding

Members of the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have lamented the continued closure of the nation’s borders, saying it is killing their businesses.

In a statement in Enugu yesterday in which they appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the decision, they stressed the need for foreign traders with genuine and wholesome goods to be granted access into the country.The statement issued by its President General, Gozie Akudolu and Secretary General, Alex Okwudili, stated that opening the borders to genuine businessmen would not only improve the welfare of traders, but would help in the continued growth of the nation’s economy.

The group noted that the move would save the country the embarrassment of sending a lot of traders into the already oversaturated labour market and further reduce the chances of the youths from being engaged as apprentices.“The closure is adversely affecting and killing trading across the country. Customers who come into Nigeria from the neighboring African countries to buy genuine goods daily no longer come because of the difficulty at the borders,” it stated.

Besides, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has reassured the Igbo Community and other Nigerians doing business in the state not to live in fears, noting that the current onslaught on criminals was yielding results and cases of kidnapping would soon be a thing of the past.Ortom in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said the intensified operations jointly launched by the army, police and other security agencies at crime flashpoints was recording huge successes.

Ortom said the recent crackdown on a kidnappers’ hideout at Gbatse in Ushongo Council Area where the kingpin and his gang were apprehended was a result of the collaboration between his administration and security operatives. He, however, described statement published in some national dailies by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, which claimed that Igbo in Benue State were targets of coordinated attacks and threats of annihilation as misleading and should be disregarded.

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Motor Dealers Association has pledged that its members would remain law abiding and pay their levies to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other government agencies.It also assured that its members would not compromise government policies, as they were meant to reposition the nation.

Chairman of the Kaduna Chapter, Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi, who made the assertion in Kaduna at the weekend, said members of the association pay their customs duties. Reacting to the recent face-off between the motor dealers and the NCS in Kaduna, Abdullahi said what transpired was misunderstood and that the issues have been resolved, adding that the situation was unfortunate, lamenting, however, that it has adversely affected their businesses.


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