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Stakeholders urge FG to review holistically border closure

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Stakeholders in the export industry has urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, holistically review the closure of the land borders as it is affecting the businesses of exporters operating in the country.

The stakeholders, at a one-day policy roundtable on Nigeria’s regulatory environment with the theme: “Roundtable on Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment,” also lamented that despite the government’s closure of the land borders, goods were still being smuggled into the country.

The Exporter Voices Lead, Trade Policy Work Stream, Policy Development Facility (PDF, Phase II), Titilope Ojo, said some countries in the world had closed their borders while measures were put in place internally to safeguard further occurrences.

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She queried that banning products from coming in. Is the government also looking at things that need to go out? Is the government looking at small businesses that their market is actually out there, how as this border closure affected them?

Ojo said: “We are not saying that border closure is wrong. Yes, some countries have closed their borders but they had an agenda, they had a plan and the plan worked as long as they closed their borders. They are working internally to ensure they close certain components of their economy such that by the time they open their borders, there would have been solid movements.

“So, external forces were not able to move them anymore because they have grown and the government has supported them.

“I think the border closure should be looked at holistically so that we are not also hurting the businesses that have been operating in the country. As much as we want to close it, let us look at those that need to go out as well so that it does not hamper their business.”

Also speaking, Policy Expert, PDF II Trade Policy Work Stream, Dr. Olumuyiwa Alaba, commended the government on the ease of doing business ranking by the World Bank, adding that there is more to be done to attain by becoming one of the 100 countries on the ease of doing business ranking.

He, however, urged the government to automate the Customs completely so as to reduce the influence of human beings.

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