Border closure: N1.45 trillion goods smuggled to Nigeria from Benin Republic annually – World Bank.

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Border closure: N1.45 trillion goods smuggled to Nigeria from Benin Republic annually – World Bank.

Segun Oladipupo      |       

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has said it supports the federal government on border closure because of the whooping N1.45 trillion worth of goods smuggled into Nigeria annually.

The Acting Managing Director of NEPZA, Engr. David Terhemba Nongo stated this at a public function in Lagos yesterday.

He lamented the menace of smuggling of goods through the Benin Republic corridor into Nigeria saying it is of negative economic influence to the nation.

According to the MD who was represented at the event by Simon Tsuwan, a recent World Bank report stated that about N1.45 trillion worth of goods are smuggled into Nigeria annually through the Benin border alone.

His words, “This prompted Africa’s foremost industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to lament that there is no country that can survive with Benin Republic as a neighbour.

“And he went further to call for drastic action so as to save the Nigerian economy. The President Buhari government has taken the bold decision of closing the land borders and although there have been protests from majority ECOWAS member states. Nigeria insists that the closure would remain in force till January 31st, 2019.

He added that the ban would help to boost local manufacturibg job creation and economic growth by checking the smuggling of goods into the country.

He further stated that the closure would also help to increase her global competitiveness as well as attracting investors and be simultaneously frustrating their growth or even take-off.

Earlier, he pointed out that the difficulty the authority would have had was infrastructural deficits but was quick to add that the agency is already updating and providing infrstructure.

“We are deploying technologies and New Media to improve service delivery, digitalising our operations and simplifying procedures etc all in a bid to get the most from the AfCFTA,” he said.

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