If the borders were safe and government had enforced the bilateral and multilateral agreements it had signed with other neighbouring countries, there would have been no reason to close the borders to begin with. Precise usage of land borders would have averted such an effected decision that has caused for example the tremendous hike in rice prices and also the fact that the current rice mills do not have the supply capacity to an unending demand. I think the federal government should have positioned soothing and alleviative measures before closing the land borders, since the span of food production is yet inadequate to population size. Considered the majority who can at most afford a meal a day and those who can barely afford rice and other inflated commodities.
Also, this decision has further increased the challenges faced in business performance and profits. It is important to note that Nigeria is not considered as an exporting nation, but highly dependant on importation. For this reason, shutting down land borders will take a toll on the supply and profits of various business models. On the other hand, the drastic decision to temporarily shut down the land borders does seem as though the government was more concerned in generating substantial national revenue to boost expenditure, than helping to cut down the expenses of the people.
Still, I cannot debunk the fact that the economic benefits are enormous in the long run. Just as the saying goes, ones must toil before he reaps. Therefore, we have to endure the present hardship which has befallen us for promising times. The financial and performance reports since the shutdown has been mind blowing and if the federal government continues in this direction of industrialisation, Nigeria will in the future boast of many goods suitable for exportation. Such actualisation would have an increased impact on mass job creation, end rural to urban migration, sustain businesses, increase spending power, and strengthen the inflow of foreign funds and investments. Industrialisation which is a more consistent method of income generation would inevitably alleviate poverty against further impoverishing the people.
Despite the many merits that comes with the border-closure or certain restrictions, the federal government should timely discontinue the policy and allow the easy movement of people, goods and commodities to enable better relationships with neighbouring countries. However, opening these borders should not threaten the safety of lives and properties, and undermine the ability to expand Nigeria’s manufacturing capacity. This is my honest opinion. Thank you.
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Categories: Economic development