The Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture(OGUNCCIMA) has called on the Federal Government to lift order on the closure of land border between Ogun State and neighbouring countries, adding that the continued closure is jeopardizing the efforts of the Small Medium Entrepreneurs’ (SME’s)
Penpushing reports that, President of the Chambers, Alhaji Wasiu Olaleye made the appeal on Thursday at a press conference noting that that the border closure which has been in effect since August 2019 with major objective of curbing rice smuggling have been causing serious impediment for business in the state.
The Chambers boss pointed out that, same with other states along these borders, such that if the move is not partially reversed or adjusted it will jeopardize the government’s good effort towards Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SME’s)
‘Local and international traders are the reasons for businesses to exist. Once these purposes have been taken from them, it portends more danger to the economy than anything else. OGUNCCIMA have committed towards development of SME’s for export activities in recent years’, Olaleye added.
Penpushing further reports that, he said with the support of the international partner and NEPC, the chambers have facilitated the processing of ECOWAS trade liberation scheme registration for dozens of SME’s to enable them to trade along the ECOWAS corridor.
‘This would have boosted commercial activities at the same time generate revenue for the government. Instead what we have are businesses that are struggling for survival when they cannot realize their production and sales capacity’
The President noted that, businesses grow when enjoys economies of scales, but lamented that in these parts, ’we have been disadvantage’, stressing that for some businesses, the raw materials for production are sourced in the rural places that are along the border areas where government officials are being deployed.
‘The activities of these officials in inhibiting trade between those areas and urban centres are demoralizing to the farmers and businesses and injurious to the country at large. Our chambers of commerce have had to intervene several times in disputes between the farmers and traders in these rural areas and the uniform officers deployed to these regions on produce such as maize, palm kernel, after being wrongly accused of smuggling them and telling them explicit’
‘’Opening the land border will signal to SME’s with potential export capacity to expand their production and this will generate employment and increased economic activities. Prices of commodities will not achieve equilibrium while it is being consumed locally and we won’t be utilizing our comparative advantage in our state’, he stated
‘We implore the Federal Government of Nigeria to reconsider their position on the border closure before SME’s with export potentials that are barely surviving now ultimately cease to exist, also the impediments that customs officials and security operatives pose to the border town in our state be looked into and curbed’
’The pandemic and recent crisis have already caused loss of billions or trillions in our economy and there is no better time than to employ all measures to make sure that we revamp the economy and set it on the right track’, Olaleye emphasized.
Penpushing also reports that,the first female President of the Nigeria Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture(NACCIMA), Iyalode Alaba Lawson in her remarks , said the border closure is taking too long, stressing that it is high time, the order is relaxed
‘It is taking too long, Federal Government should take the bull by the horn, we are saying it is high time. SME’s are the bedrock of economy. It is high time we put up a policy, and not obsolete ones. We hope there is light at end of every tunnel’, Lawson stated
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