Importers, SMEs Seek Palliatives , As FG Unlocks More Land Borders

Importers, SMEs Seek Palliatives , As FG Unlocks More Land Borders

December 31, 2020 0

As the Federal Government opens other 80 approved land borders with Nigeria’s neighbours today, importers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) entrepreneurs operating around border communities are seeking palliatives to cushion the adverse effects the over one year closure  had brought upon their businesses. The importers and SMEs owners said they  had lost an estimated N600 billion besides scores of contractual agreements with their foreign counterparts in the west coast and would therefore want the Federal Government to come to their assistance. 

Daily Sun reports, the affected businessmen insisted that the Federal Government could come to their rescue by providing some palliatives for them as it did for other sectors recently. An importer, Mr. Ike Cornelius, lamented that most of the importers, small business owners and clearing agents across the border have since gone bankrupt and needed to be supported even as he argued that goods worth billions of naira had rotted away during the border closure.

“We are not asking too much here. Government can help us by giving us palliative in terms of soft loan with a modest interest rate that will not be too difficult for us to pay back. Government can make the loan available through the office of Vice President or Ministry of Finance as it did with Tradermoni and Farmermoni.

“They can come and take the data of affected people at the borders by capturing them. They can do this through help of the Local Government around these borders to know the real importers and business owners to assist. Government can do their studies and come up with ways of making this happen. People are suffering and dying around the border communities after their means of livelihood was shut for one year, five months and five days,” he added.

However, National Coordinator of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC), Chukwu Patrick, said it has become necessary for government to give affected importers, freight forwarders and small business owners some palliatives in order to revive their businesses. “It affected all of us because we that have license to operate at the borders cannot do our business. Some trucks were trapped and we cannot bring them in. We have to go back to reshipped through ports what have already been shipped through land borders before, making it what we called additional reshipment.

So this made us lose several goods worth billions. Government should at least create some palliatives to make these people continue their businesses because as long as they continue the business, Government will continue to benefit from them. Those SMEs, as long as they continue to import, they will pay their duties, levies and taxes into the Government’s coffers,” he added.


Adzer Iwanger
Adzer Iwanger
Adzer Esther Iwanger
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