The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele said Monday that Nigerians are benefiting immensely from the closure of the country’s borders.
Emefiele said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a close-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
“A week after the borders were closed, the same rice millers association called to tell us that all the rice that they had in their warehouses have all been sold. Indeed, a lot of people have been depositing money in their accounts and they have even been telling them ‘please hold on don’t even pay money yet until we finished processing your rice.’
“The poultry associations have also come to say that they have sold all their eggs, they have sold all their processed chickens and that demand is rising.
“So when you asked, ‘what is the benefit, the benefit of the border closure on the economy of Nigeria’, I just used two products – poultry and rice. The benefit is that it has helped to create jobs for our people, it has helped to bring our integrated rice milling that we have in the country back into business again and they are making money.
“Our rural communities are bubbling because there is activities, because rice farmers are able to sell their paddy. The poultry business is also doing well, and also maize farmers who produce maize from which feeds are produced are also doing business.
“These are the benefits. We are not saying that the borders should be closed in perpetuity, but that before the borders be reopened, there must be concrete engagements with countries that are involved in using their ports and countries as landing ports for bringing in goods that are smuggling into Nigeria.
“That engagement must be held so that we agree on the basis under which: what are the kinds of products that they can land in their countries because if those products they land in their countries are meant for their own local consumption, it is understandable,” he said.
The CBN governor said there must be concrete engagements with neighbouring countries that are involved in using their shores as landing ports for bringing in goods that are smuggled into.
He said the country’s borders would remain closed until its neigbours meet the conditions for reopening.
“We are not saying that the borders should be closed in perpetuity, but that before the borders be reopened, there must be concrete engagements with countries that are involved in using their ports and countries as landing ports for bringing in goods meant for local consumption, it is understandable.
“But the fact that those products are landed in their countries and then transshipped or smuggled into Nigeria is something that I am sure you all agree as Nigerians we should not allow to happened because it undermines our economic policy, it undermines our own desire to make sure that industries are alive and jobs are created in Nigeria,” he said.