LCCI Caution Federal Government On Border Closure.
Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, says the closure of the Nigeria –Benin Republic border is not the solution to smuggling, rather government should be strategic and tactical in dealing with the problem.
Yusuf also noted that government should develop the culture of tackling the causes of problems, not fighting the symptoms, as this is the way to solve a problem sustainably.
While critically examining the issue of smuggling in the country, Yusuf bemoaned the scale of smuggling going on in the border, saying it could not be happening without the cooperation of operatives of government agencies.
“For a scale of smuggling that comes through the border, is of such a level that it couldn’t have been happening without the connivance of our security or government operatives at the border”, Yusuf revealed.
He questioned the lack of action against connivance by government and also called for the strengthening of the capacity of state institutions at the borders.
He said: “So far I haven’t seen any sanction, any reprimand or any of such.”
He continued: “We really need to deal with the issue of productivity within the economy. Prices between us and neighboring countries, the differential is too much, it’s too wide, provides very huge incentives for people to smuggle.”
“So rather than address issues of productivity, how we can improve on what we are doing, how we can reduce our cost of production, we keep emphasizing certain issue of how to protect economy. Protection is good but you have to also simultaneously do a lot about fixing issues of productivity in the economy”, advised the LCCI Boss.