The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Founder, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr Atedo Peterside has reacted to the restriction of importers and exporters in their movement of goods but gave three firms the approval to export and imports their products.
The Federal Government had in August 2019 restricted and closed its land borders from Benin, Niger and Cameroon to tackle smuggling in Nigeria.
The three firms exempted from the restriction policy are; Dangote Cement, BUA and a gas supply firm.
The LCCI Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, questioned the government and policymakers’ integrity on the selective approach of the economic policy.
Yusuf stated that there should be equality in the policymaking and execution, noting that if equality is absent, investors, business owners’ trust is on stake and harmful
He said, “It also negates the principles and spirit of competition policy and competition law.”
Also, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has been lobbying for the land borders reopening advising the government to set measures against the smuggling.
The manufacturers lamented its loss since the closure last year adding that they recommended for a border closure review but wasn’t maintained.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Customs Service, Joseph Attah, confirming the approval said the government agreed due to some special requests from the neighbouring countries.
He said, “This by the way is not a new thing because the border was partially closed in August 2019 and since then, it has remained closed.
“Some three months ago, upon special requests from the governments of these neighbouring countries, the government agreed with their requests and approved that these companies should supply those things. It is a presidential approval.”
However, in reaction to the approval, the Founder, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr Atedo Peterside tweeted, “When will the FG consider small honest businesses that are not so well-connected?
“I have since learnt that BUA Group was also allowed to export goods through Nigeria’s “closed” land borders. FG should please accept that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.”