The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, revealed that about 500,000 bags of local rice was sold by millers within a week of the border closure.
The CBN governor said the Chairman of the Rice Processors Association complained to him that rice millers and processors in the country had 25,000 metric tonnes of unsold local rice in their warehouses and urged that something should be done to help keep their businesses alive. He added that he received the complaint before the nation’s borders were closed and the same person called a week after the border closure saying all the rice in their warehouses had been sold.
Benefits of closing the Border
Mr. Godwin Emefiele stated that between 2015 and 2019, the number of companies setting up integrated and small mills that CBN and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development has been at the centre of not just encouraging the production of rice in Nigeria, but also funding these farmers by giving them loans to acquire seedlings, fertilizers and some herbicides for rice production.
He said “The benefit of the border closure in Nigeria is that it has helped to create jobs for our people, bring our integrated rice millers back into businesses and they are making money; our rural communities are bubbling because farmers are selling.”
Condition For Re-Opening
Emefiele stated that some members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, who also complained of difficulties selling their eggs and processed chicken confirmed that since the closure, demand has been on the rise.
Emefiele also added that he is not saying that the border should be closed for eternity, but before it can be re-opened, there must be concrete engagements with countries that are involved in using their ports as landing ports for bringing in goods that are smuggled into Nigeria.
He added that the engagement must be held, so we agree on the basis of what products they can land in their country and if it is meant for their local consumption, it’s understandable.
But the fact that they are now smuggled into Nigeria, we all agree should not happen because it undermines our economic policies and desire to ensure that industries are alive and jobs are created in Nigeria.