© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Border Closure: CBN governor gives condition for opening
GOVERNOR of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has stated condition at which Nigerian borders would be opened following the closure in August.
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari had ordered that all Nigerian land borders be partially closed in August 2019, a decision that has sprung national and international reactions.
Emefiele after a closed-door meeting with Buhari on Monday before the latter left for Saudi Arabia, addressing the State House correspondents that before the nation’s borders can be opened, neighboring countries must agree to implement mutual anti-smuggling policies.
He said that the Nigerian rice and poultry farmers have been the major benefactors from the border closure because they have been able to sell all their accumulated produce which have before now remained unsold due to illegal smuggling and importation from other countries.
Emefiele said Buhari, the leadership of the CBN and some state governors launched the WetSeason Rice Farming in Kebbi state in November 2015 and that there has been an immense growth in the numbers of farmers going into farming and production has largely gone up.
He also said that 2015 hither-to, Nigeria has also seen an astronomical rise in the number of companies, corporate and individuals that are setting up mills, integrated mills and even small mills in various areas.
“We have been embarking on a programme where we are saying if you are involved in the business of smuggling or dumping of rice in the country, we close your account in the banking industry and that is very effective”
Stating the reasons behind the border closure, he said the chairman of the Rice Processors Association who owns Umza Rice in Kano called, saying all the rice millers and processors are carrying nothing less than 25,000 metric tons of milled rice in their warehouses.
He said the rice has been unsold because of the smuggling and dumping of rice through the Republic of Benin and other border posts that are in the country.
Emefiele also said that members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria complained that they have thousands of crates of eggs that they could not sell; even some of the processed chickens that they could not sell, also arising from smuggling and dumping of poultry products into Nigeria.
“A week after the borders were closed, the same rice millers association called to tell us that all the rice that they had in their warehouses have all been sold,” he said.