By Blessing Orimolade,
Karimah Adeyemo &
Business owners and financial experts have stated that the re-opening of borders have no positive effect on the country’s business and economic development.
Those who spoke with The Hope, said that economic indices of the country showed that the cost of living, prices of goods and services have continued to soar.
The traders lamented that the excise duty and other taxes being paid on goods have increased, leading to additional cost of importing goods and consequent increase in prices of products.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the reopening of the country’s borders which was shut in 2019 to prevent proliferation of illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into the country from other nations.
Part of the reasons for the closure of borders was also to stimulate local production.
Reacting, a trader, Mrs Olajumoke Okoro said that the re-opening of borders has no impact yet on the nation’s economy.
She also said that government did not care about the citizens anymore, but was concerned about the 2023 elections.
Another trader, Mrs Praise Oluwagbemi also lamented that the price of her wares has not gone down, even with the reopening of borders.
She stated that due to the increase in prices of clothes, coupled with economic hardship in the country, majority of her customers seldom came to buy her wares.
Also speaking, a mobile phone and accessories seller, a trader, Mrs Yemi Balogun and others that spoke with The Hope said nothing had changed in the market.
Mrs Balogun explained that, the rice we are buying N22, 000 before is now between N25, 000 and N28, 000. Everything is just going up and they said that they have already opened the border.
Assuming the border is opened to everybody now, they can buy anything without any duty or tariff.
The duty they are collecting from us is very high but if the excise duty is reduced, there is no way the money they will be using to sell things will not reduce.
Business and financialexperts also shared similar opinion, stating that prices of goods and services would only fall if the country could boost her local production and reduce tariff on imported goods.
According to a financial expert, Mayaki Akindun, there are many things that can lead to reduction in price in spite of opening boarder.
“The question is; is there reduction in tariff rate of those goods imported? If the cost of importation is high, traders will not bring the price down.
“Are goods allowed to freely come in? If goods are not allowed to come in freely and tariff rate is high, the price will not come down and at the same time, border opening does not totally mean crashing of goods price, though it might come down but it will be gradual.
“When was the border opened? They were opened some weeks ago. So, some people are still being careful if they bring goods in and it is seized by Customs officers, it will lead to debt so they might still want to watch the possibility of government’s stand to importation of goods.”
Akindun further said that prices of goods could fall if the country boost her local production.
“Prices can reduce if we have those things that were available before now in higher quantity. But if there is still high demand and the goods are not available, you will not expect the prices to come down,” he explained.
Another financial expert, Tolu Oluwole also stressed that the economic situation in Nigeria was beyond mere border opening, but need for consolidated economic efforts to improve local production and bring down inflation rate in the country.
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