Rice millers say border closure an opportunity in disguise.


The gains of the land border closure are more than the disadvantages that have risen since the initiative was implemented president, Rice Millers Association of Nigeria and the Managing Director of Elephant Group, Tunji Owoeye, declared in defence of the directive.

The gains are worth the pains: Owoeye said these gains are not only being experienced in rice and other commodities sectors, it spreads across.

“From our understanding, the government is not saying that they should not bring goods into Nigeria, but the government has decided that over 1,800 penetrable routes that they smuggle goods into the country should be properly manned.  

“How much manpower do you want to put at all these illegal routes? Smuggling activities have thrived for long because of the vast area that we have which we now need to secure. It becomes practically impossible for customs to man all of these routes, and because of this, smugglers have taken advantage of the lapses to engage in illicit trade activities.

Owoeye said the closure has led to job opportunities, increasing the employment numbers through agricultural growth, “Much more employment is being generated in the agricultural sector. In the poultry sector alone more youths are being attracted into it, not to talk about other agricultural sub-sectors and their value chains. This has made farming more attractive and if it continues, Nigeria would not only become self-sufficient in food production, but also exporting.”

He also stated that the border closure has dealt with to some extent the smuggling problem Nigeria faces.