Monday, November 4, 2019 5:46 pm
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said despite the many merits that come with the border-closure, the policy comes without any palliative for legitimate local businesses, and therefore, a negation of the attempts at alleviating poverty and reduce unemployment.
NECA’s Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, who said this in Lagos on Monday also urged the urged government not to stifle legitimate businesses because of the inefficiency of the customs service to keep the borders safe.
He added that the policy was more consistent with income generation for government and has harsh effect on households, businesses and investors’ confidence in general.
“Since the advent of this policy, prices of goods, especially food items had increased tremendously, further making the average Nigerian vulnerable as 70 per cent of poor households budget is spent on food.
“Government’s fiscal and monetary policies should focus on sustainable enterprise, job creation and rapid economic development premised on wide-range consultation with critical stakeholders, ” Olawale said.
Olawale who called on the Federal Government to address the fundamental challenges of smuggling and insecurity in the country urged the government to take broader look at the fundamentals of its assumptions that led to the decision to close the borders.
He also urged government not to stifle legitimate businesses because of the inefficiency of the customs service to keep the borders safe.
“If the borders are safe and government enforces the bilateral and multilateral agreements it had signed with other countries, there will not be need to close the borders.
“Efforts should be stepped up to equip the customs to live up to its responsibilities of protecting the borders and nip smuggling in the bud, ” he said.
The NECA official also urged government to ensure that the citizens’ welfare and business prosperity are not be sacrificed due the inefficiency in our border policing.
According to him, coordination of fiscal policies should be geared toward enterprise competitiveness, job creation and alleviating poverty against impoverishing the people by such policies of government.
“Despite the many merits that come with the border-closure, we are concerned that the policy comes without any palliative for legitimate local businesses which negate the attempts at alleviating poverty and reduce unemployment.
“The continuous closure also possesses the capacity to render many Nigerians jobless and hungry.