The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has again appealed to the Federal Government to consider reopening the closed border to allow genuine freight of goods and services.
The Group Chairman of MAN’s Export Promotion Group, Ede Dafinone, made the call on the sidelines of the workshop on trade facilitation and single window organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in Lagos yesterday.
Dafinone said: “We were told initially that the border would be opened in a month, then three months, but now we are not very sure when it will be opened.
“We from the private sector continue to urge the Federal Government to open the border for genuine exporters.”
He said members of the group emphstised with the government and understood the problem the government had with the influx of illegally imported items, pointing out, however, that “there are still a lot of manufacturers within our membership that are genuine exporters that need to have the border open in other to facilitate their trade with our neighbours.”
Speaking on the estimated cost of the border closure to exporters, the industrialist said it was “really difficult to put our fingers on numbers. We have different members imparted in different ways.
“We have members who export 100 per cent of their production to the neighbouring countries and we have members with just five or 10 per cent going out to our neighbours. They are all reluctant to give us data, so it is hard to give the figures.”
On the single window workshop and the inauguration of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) committee, Dafinone noted that the more simplification the exporters could have around export, the easier it would be to get goods to customers around the West African coast or even in Europe and America.
Dafinone spoke on the necessity of protecting the nation’s economy, saying the “government is trying to simplify the business processes surrounding export and to encourage non-oil export in particular to enable us diversify from oil.”