Nigeria: Those making noise about border closure are either smugglers or beneficiaries of smuggling-Red Star Express Boss
London, Dec. 1, 2019 (AltAfrica)- The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Red Star Express Plc, Olusola Obabori says the closure of Nigerian border with some neigbouring West African countries has had no negative impact on legitimate businesses
Olusola Obabori who spoke to a leading Nigerian tabloid, Punch Newspaper said majority of those making noise about the development were either smugglers or beneficiaries of illegal businesses who have been put out of business
” I will not say it has had. I checked the numbers lately to be sure but it hasn’t. A lot of people who bring things into Nigeria from those routes are smugglers to a large extent. Those who do legitimate business have nothing to worry about.
The Red Star Express boss wants Nigerians to know that no serious government would allow its country become a dumping ground for all manner of goods especially when such could easily be produced at home
“Majority of the things the government is trying to prevent from those border points are substantially people smuggling all manner of things into the country. And believe me, if we can curb smuggling, it will do the country a lot of good.
“Why should people make products locally and can’t sell them because people are importing them and making our country a dumping ground? Can we go back to farm so that those other countries are not operating the factories while our own are shutting down?
” I believe totally that we should encourage local production and develop our country internally. I’m not averse to international trade, without it, there can’t be success in any country because you can’t do it all by yourself but we must prevent smuggling.
“If you must import and it’s not an illegal item, then you must import legitimately. Nigeria is such a funny country that you will see a truck on the road that has not been properly cleared. Sometimes you see Customs chasing them to go and make the right kind of payment to the government.
“For Red Star and those who do legitimate business, I do not think the closure has had any direct impact on our businesses. For those who do illegal business, that is a different kettle of fish. The guys who produce locally are now able to produce and sell more but in the past, some of the chicken we eat, for instance, could come from neighbouring countries. Now we need to find the best way to produce them locally so that the cost of production can be better than those importing illegally.”