Nigerian farmers have yesterday protested against the idea of the federal government to re-open land border, claiming it is a dangerous idea at this moment when prices of food items are going high. They explained that is a known fact most of the neighbouring countries to Nigeria rely on this country for foodstuff, therefore, by implication opening the border would push the demand of food items up and by extension the price will sour.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed yesterday disclosed that the presidential committee on reopening of the nation’s land border has concluded its work and would soon hand it over to President Buhari.
Her statement raises hope for the small scale importers that Buhari would soon reopen the Nigerian land border that was shut down since August 2019.
Nigerian, considered to be the most thriving economy in the sub-Saharan West Africa states of ECOWAS was bothered by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons coupled with illegal smuggling that was going on, the authority had to go tough against the issue through closing down of its land border.
The action of the federal government has taken its toll on most of the Nigerian small traders who were heavily relying on imported goods from these our neighbouring country for survival. Our neighbouring countries were also not spared from the economy summersault through the action of the Nigeria government.
On a question when the Nigerian border would be reopened, the Minister said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) have to assess the gain o the closure firs, however, said, members of their committee would soon submit its report to the FEC.
Although the Minister did not say when exactly the border will be reopened.
She said, “Mr. President has set up a committee that I chair, alongside the minister of foreign affairs and other ministers, including interior, customs, immigration, the security services, to review and advise him on the issue of the border closure.
“The committee has just completed its work and we will be submitting our report, I have signed my copy, I gave everybody to sign between today and tomorrow so that we submit the report to Mr. President,” the minister said while fielding questions from State House reporters.
Meanwhile, when she attended the round table discussion during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26), she hinted that the border would be reopened soon.
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arch. Kabiru Ibrahim was of the opinion that most foods produced in Nigeria usually find their way into the neighbouring countries, and reopening of borders would make such movements much easier.
However, he added that the price hike would be disastrous considering the fact that there shall be free movement of goods in and out of the country which will certainly push the demand up.
Similarly, The President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, was of the opinion that the closure of the border from the first place was a bad idea, the federal government should have consult marketers before making that decision.