Sunday, January 17, 2021

Manufacturers berate Federal Government over prolonged border closure

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Stakeholders in the manufacturing sector, including the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria’s Export Group and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have taken a swipe at the Federal Government over prolonged closure of borders.

However, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in an interview with State House correspondents after the Federal Executive meeting on Wednesday, said the committee on border closure set up by the President Muhammadu Buhari will soon submit its report.

She also assured Nigerians that the borders would soon be reopened.

Recall that on August 20, 2019, the government closed land borders to stop smuggling and encourage local production.

It also demanded that neighbouring countries should check smuggling from their own ends as part of the conditions for reopening the borders.

The President set up a ministerial committee consisting of Ahmed, her counterpart for interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey J Onyeama, as well as heads of immigration and customs to review the decision.

But more than a year after it was set up, the committee is yet to submit its report to the President.