Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has said the closure of Nigeria’s land borders has had positive impact on the economy.
Mr. Emefiele said this has helped create jobs and positively boost Nigeria’s agricultural sector .
He made this assertion while speaking with Statehouse Correspondents in Abuja.
It is now a little over two months that Nigeria closed its land borders to all goods
It is a policy that has raised a lot of controversy with naysayers describing it as an ill advised move which will only succeed in raising the cost of food in an already struggling economy
But Government officials insist that it is only a temporary measure effected to allow Nigeria’s security forces develop a strategy to curb smuggling
It is an argument the Governor of the Central Bank supports
Emefiele said that before the borders can be opened there must be a concrete engagement with countries who encourage goods brought in through their seaports to be smuggled into Nigeria
It is a policy that is meant to encourage indigenous farmers to raise the amount of food produced
Before the policy was implemented, the Republic of Benin had become one of the world’s top importers of rice which was smuggled into Nigeria through the Seme border
But the CBN Governor says since the policy was put in place, the story has changed
The Nigerian government insists that the closure of its land border is to forestall Nigeria becoming a dumping ground for all sorts of substandard goods
And while it would love to remain good neighbours with all countries bordering it, it cannot continue to allow a free flow of goods that evade customs duties at the detriment of its own economy