The Abeokuta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABEOCCIMA) says it welcomed planned reopening of land borders by the Federal Government, more than fifteen months after they were closed.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had told State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting last week that the borders would soon be reopened, following submission of a report by a committee set up on the border closure.
Reacting in an interview with our correspondent in Abeokuta, Ogun State,
the President of ABEOCCIMA, Jare Oyesola noted that reopening borders would allow traders and manufacturers import raw materials for production.
He said lack of importation of raw materials affected production during the border closure.
Oyesola, however, noted that the planned reopening of borders would aid trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
He said “The way forward is for the borders to be reopened and for customs officers to do their job on things that are not legal.
“But quite a number of things that are legal and needed by the industries, they should be allowed in in accordance with the ECOWAS trade liberalisation scheme and AfCFTA.”
The President added that the poor road infrastructure along Apapa sea port makes importation via land costlier for the traders.
He said “The lessons that should have been learnt is the road from Apapa to the port. If we want to export or import things into Nigeria, it is costlier importing by the Sea. Between Apapa and Ogun State, the customs charges, different types, will make the cost of goods will make the cost of goods cheaper to go by the land transport than bringing it by the Sea.
“Unless the infrastructure from the port is fixed, I don’t think we have learnt any lesson.”