Though the Federal Government is earning huge revenue as a result of border closure, it should strive more to improve on infrastructure and make all the sectors of the economy efficient, the Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has said.
The Chambers also called on the government to review the border closure by making Customs efficient through the use of technology.
The President of ACCI Prince Adetokunbo Kayode said this when he paid a courtesy call on the management of Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday.
“From the point of view of government and those who are campaigning for government, oh, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) is now busy, Customs is now collecting more money, the people doing poultry are now able to sell more and rice is now being eaten locally, but as far as I am concerned those are very good news but that is not the main issue.
“ The average Nigerian will eat Ofada any day or local rice any day if he sees it, especially if there is no stone inside it , so no matter how much you love Nigerian rice if you crack stone every day you will have issues with it. So efficiency is key. Whatever little we are doing let’s make it efficient and we are getting there but nobody should beat their chest and say we are there because we are not yet there,” he said.
Kayode who claimed rice was still being smuggled into the country, called on the Customs to intensify its efforts at stemming the tide of illegal activities at the borders.
“People smuggle in rice and we all know it. Customs cannot tell us they don’t know who is bringing in rice, they know those bringing it through Benin Republic and they know that majority are Nigerians; many with strong Customs ties. This is not new; if Customs wants to knock down price of rice today, let them knock down their warehouses,” he said. Kayode said though the borders are still porous, government can do something about.
He said: “We all know that our border is porous, this is historical. I don’t blame government for that because for instance government set up this Border Communities Development Agency.”