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Border closure already yielding positive results —Buhari



Buhari with delegation from the Nigerian Association for Chamber of Commerce,

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday said the closure of Nigeria’s land borders had been yielding positive results for the economy.

Some Nigerians have been lamenting since government commenced partial closure of the land borders few weeks ago.

The government had said the closure was to checkmate massive illegal smuggling of different products in and out of the country.

Speaking when a delegation from the Nigerian Association for Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture ( NACCIMA) visited him at the State House, Abuja, Buhari expressed joy over the closure.

The delegation also comprised the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) and representatives of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

Buhari had also told his visitors that the closure became necessary owing to the lack of adherence to business ideals by various stakeholders, an act he said was harmful to the country and its citizens.

He said, “After many years of diplomacy and aggressive regulatory oversight which yielded few results, we decided to close our land borders for a limited time to assess the impact of this measure.

“Within a few short weeks, we are already seeing a decline in the volumes of counterfeit smuggled goods in some of our major markets across the country.

“This validates our action as a government when we insist that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement must not only promote free trade, but legal trade of quality made-in-Africa goods and services.”

He said that it was important everyone played by the rule in matters of trade and business activities central to Nigeria’s economic development.

While he assured that his government would make sure that the trade and business sector continued to do better in job creation, Buhari called on the association to maintain its ‘‘positive and patriotic contribution’’ targeted at realising a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made-in-Africa products.

He added, ”We will soon finalise the National Action Committee on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Your Association is a member of this committee.

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“I expect you to continue your positive and patriotic contribution to support us in achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made in Africa products.’’

Speaking, President FEWACCI, NACCIMA and OPS, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, applauded Buhari for his recent decision to constitute a new economic team to steer the Nigerian economy.

“NACCIMA, FEWACCI and, indeed, the OPS, are full of hope that a new era is on the horizon with the calibre of persons on the team which reassures us at the OPS that government is ready to turn around the story of Nigeria,” she said in respect to the setting up of the Economic Advisory Council.

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