Mansur Ahmed, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said closure of borders across the country is not the solution to smuggling.
Speaking in an interview with TheCable, Ahmed commended the federal government for steps taken to curb illegal importation into the country.
He however said it will only affect genuine manufacturers in the country.
“Like the president said, indeed smuggling on a massive scale and particularly, import of substandard products and a lot of illegal importation harms the manufacturing sector very seriously. So it is right that the government should be looking at ways in which that can be curtailed.
“I understand that the closure of borders is supposed to be a short-term arrangement to at least stop the massive hemorrhage of smuggled goods, particularly things like rice and so on into the country, while the government is looking for a more long term solution to the problem.
“I believe that manufacturers will be willing to work with this arrangement for a time, but it shouldn’t be an indefinite thing because obviously if you close the borders, there are manufacturers who are genuine exporters whose businesses will be seriously hurt.
“There are also manufacturers who are bringing either raw materials or some of their inputs into the country and doing so legitimately. I think those people should not be penalised for too long.
“I think the arrangement should be held sufficiently long enough to be able to put in place a long term more sustainable solution. The closing border is not a sustainable solution, I am sure we all know.”