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CBN gov gives condition for reopening borders


The Federal Government’s decision to shut the nation’s land borders against neigbouring countries will remain, despite any short-term losses, until they ratify Nigeria’s proposed anti-smuggling policy, according to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele.
   

   
According to TheGuardianng news, Emefiele, who held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, noted that since the closure, Nigerian rice and poultry farmers had been benefitting from the development.

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According to him, the farmers have been able to market all their accumulated produce, which were before now left unsold as a result of illegal importation and smuggling of the items into the country.
   

   
Nigeria is bordered by Niger Republic in the north and Benin Republic in the west. The two countries are noted as having several smuggling routes into Nigeria. Their borders into Nigeria were closed last month.

The closure had earlier raised concerns among Nigerians as the immediate effect was felt through a general rise in the prices of food items, leading to a policy-induced pressure on inflation that caused 0.22 per cent rise to 11.24 per cent in September, against 11.02 per cent in August.

   

    The average prices month-on-month basis, rose by 1.04 per cent in September, in both food (13.5 per cent) and non-food (8.9 per cent) items, particularly the prices of bread and cereals, oils and fats, meat, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish and vegetables.

Most of these items, if not all, pass through Benin Republic’s commercial city of Cotonou, with a large portion of them smuggled into Nigeria, adding no economic value to the nation’s fiscal projections.

Emefiele said the development had negatively affected Nigeria’s economy, adding that the government was determined to keep the borders closed until all engagements in connection with the issues were concluded with the neighbouring countries to have them stop the use of their ports as launch pads for smuggling items into Nigeria.

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