The Association of International Trade and Investment Promoters of Nigeria (AITIP of Nigeria), has called for a regular joint patrol and meetings between Nigeria and neighboring countries to resolve issues that led to closure of Nigerian borders.
The Association made the call in a statement signed by its president, Prof. Kabiru Isa in Abuja on Wednesday.
Isa explained that there was a need for those countries that shared a border with Nigeria to always discuss issues around border security, import and export of goods prohibited by each country.
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He said with this was the best for all countries to strengthen the brotherhood.
“The effort by the Federal Government to encourage consumption of locally produced items such as rice through the border closure is highly commendable.
“This step will protect and encourage local producers to continue to produce a local brand of rice and the positive multiplier effect into the economy cannot be overemphasized,’’ he said.
He, however, said the decision to close filling stations around the border areas of 20kms distance had no doubt increased hardship to the existing hard times being experienced by those living around these communities.
According to him, the government can as well control the sale of these products in these areas by taking statistics of their daily or weekly requirements and allow only that quantity to be lifted from a particularly designated marketer and delivered to those areas.
He added that this could be done with very close supervision from an independent group and security agencies in order to safeguard against diverting the products.
“AITIP of Nigeria is ready to engage with relevant government agencies for further strategic discussions on the land borders closure matter and other international trade and investment issues in the best interest of the Nigerian economy and beyond.
“We believe that the present government would not want strategic issues to be exposed to the print or electronic media but prefer to discuss them at strategic meetings,’’ he said.
Isa further said the action by the Federal Government to close borders had no doubt had its consequences.
He noted that the worse hit by the border closure was the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which survival depended largely on importation or exportation of goods such as ginger, and sesame seed among others which passed their goods through these borders.