Farmers reject FG's plan to reopen Nigerian land borders

Farmers reject FG's plan to reopen Nigerian land borders

- The federal government's plan to reopen the land borders has been rejected by Nigerian farmers

- The farmers say the decision to reopen the borders is not a favourable economic decision for the country

- Many of the farmers who spoke in an interview, urged the government not to go ahead with the plan

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Nigerian farmers on Wednesday, November 25 kicked against the move by the federal government to reopen land borders.

The farmers told Daily Trust during interviews that doing so at the time prices of food items were on the increase locally may be dangerous for the Nigerian economy.

According to them, neighbouring countries that relied on Nigeria for food and other necessities would troop into the country and by implication, the prices of such commodities would go higher.

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Speaking on the issue, the national president of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabiru Ibrahim, stated that most foods produced in Nigeria usually find their way to the neighbouring countries, adding that reopening of borders would make such movements much easier.

Farmers reject FG's plan to reopen Nigerian land borders
Minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, recently announced the government's plan to reopen the borders. Photo credit: @FinMinNigeria
Source: UGC

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His words:

“Farmers are harvesting their produce but yet prices of food items are on the rise for some other factors; so if you open the borders and allow free movement of the products to our neighbouring countries, what do you think will happen, it will be disastrous.”

The farmers’ leader also reminded the proponents of the reopening about the new wave of COVID-19 infections, adding that taking such action at the moment would further worsen the situation.

Mallam Nuhu Ayuba, a rice farmer said policymakers should handle the move with caution, adding that reopening the borders at the moment would erode the gains and the sacrifices made by Nigerians so far.

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His words:

‘’We know the prices of many other items have gone high and are affecting the country but if we are to sustain our food sufficient efforts, the borders must remain closed at least for now.”

However, a poultry farmer, Mr John Shagbaya, called for a temporary reopening of the border to address the feed crises facing the poultry industry.

He said:

‘’You can see the price of maize and soybeans have gone up, which means local production cannot still meet our demand. The border should be re-opened at least temporarily to enable importation of maize and soybeans to cushion the effects of the high cost of birds’ feeds.”

Some Nigerians have been commenting on the issue on social media.

Ilyasu YD Musa wrote on Twitter:

‘’Border closure was ad hoc and erroneously based on an ill-conceived theory that it automatically amounts to an increase in domestic consumption & output. It came against the advice of the two leading Chambers of Commerce in the country. The fact that the federal government ratified AFCTA makes it confounding.”

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Alli-Balogun H.Lekan wrote:

‘’The essence of the border closure is to build self-sustenance and create jobs for Nigerians. We achieved that.”

Oyin Asaaju wrote:

‘’You don't close your borders and do nothing to support local activities. Initially, the closure increased production activities in agriculture but much more is required so we're back to square one.”

Tope Olawunmi wrote:

‘’Controlled movement of goods would have saved us our current challenges. No nation closes its borders entirely, it can only be controlled as to what is allowed to come in, so local production can be encouraged. Also, controlled closure would work better If there are measures to help local businesses.”

Recall that the Nigerian government on Wednesday, November 25, revealed that the land borders would be reopened soon.

The minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure while speaking to State House correspondents.

According to Ahmed, the presidential committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue has recommended the reopening of the borders.

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