By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin

President of Kwara state Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA)Mr Olalekan Ayodimeji has called on the federal government to also reopen Chikanda and Babara Borders in the state and the neighbouring Niger state,in line with its directive.

He said that the borders reopening became necessary because they have remained closed despite the federal government directive therefore trade and business owners in the areas are seriously groaning because of the development.

Olalekan made this call at a press conference in Ilorin while announcing the hosting of KWACCIMA and the AGM /conference of NACCIMA which will hold in Ilorin between May 25 and 27 in Ilorin.

He said,”The federal government of Nigeria recently reopened four more borders. Surprisingly however the Chikanda and Babara borders in Kwara and Niger states are yet to be reopened. We therefore call on the federal government to also open these two borders to promote trade along those corridors. The traders and people in those communities are groaning as their means of livelihood are daily being impacted by the closure.”

The Kwara KWACCIMA president also bemoaned the nation’s economy which he said is debt driven, stressing that”facts have shown that the current levels of debt service payments are very high and becoming unsustainable.”

He said oil theft in Nigeria has crippled the economy saying,”Unfortunately, the nation is not taking advantage of the present hike in international crude oil prices due to her inability to meet production quota as a result of massive crude oil theft.All these portent negative economic consequences for Nigeria.”

In order to shore up Nigeria revenue earnings, he called for the introduction of Certificate of origin for crude oil export in order to check the crude oil theft and also called on the federal government to widen the tax net instead of introducing new taxes,”thereby impoverising businesses. “

He also called for deliberate reduction in governance cost adding that the government should also leverage on investment through public private partnership.

Olalekan further lamented that hike in diesel price has impacted negatively on businesses in Ilorin as it has caused increased in prices and raw materials.

He further complained of multiple taxes by kwara state government and called for the harmonisation of the taxes.

The KWACCIMA president however commended Governor AbdulRazaq, “in upgrading and providing infrastructural facilities in the state as well as his interest in the economic upliftment of the people of the state. “

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