The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Thursday said the federal government should review its border closure policy and allow the resumption of normal trade activities.
Nigeria partially closed its land borders in August 2019 and halted all trade via land borders in October 2019.
The closures were triggered by the government’s frustration with the smuggling in of rice and illicit exports into exports of locally subsidised petrol to neigbouring countries.
President Ahmed Mansur said while the closure was necessary at the time, it was time for the government to now review its decision.
“We are suggesting that the border should be reopened,” he said. “The closure of the borders we believe has been far enough.
“When the border was closed, there were good reasons for it. Food importation and substandard products made it difficult for our rice farmers, for example, to succeed.
“But after one year, we are of the view that to actually ensure these malpractices, particularly trade malpractices are arrested, the relationship between us and our neighbouring countries which indeed to a large extent has contributed to the problem, should have been resolved. And therefore we believe that the normal thing will be to reopen the borders and allow normal trading to take place.”
Mansur said opening the borders would be in compliance with ECOWAS’ trade liberalisation treaty, which Nigeria is a part of.