Land Border Closure Fall-Out: Farmers make huge returns, wealth and jobs for economy– Emefiele

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The closure of Nigerian land borders with its West African neighbours has helped local farmers and producers of agricultural foods make huge returns, while creating wealth and jobs for the economy, Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said Monday during a chat with journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari before his departure to Saudi Arabia for an investment summit
Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The Nigerian economy is reaping a lot of benefits from the border closures, which was authorized by President Buhari to address illegal smuggling into the country through Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroun, Emefiele said, adding that rice and poultry farmers have announced boosts in their sales since the blanket closures.

The CBN Governor further said: “Farmers have since cleared their stocks which were in warehouses before the border closure. This is the absolute truth, about two weeks before the border closure, the chairman of the Rice Processors Association, incidentally, he owns Umza Rice in Kano, he called me and said that all the rice millers and processors were carrying in their warehouses nothing less than 25,000 metric tons of milled rice. That these rice have been unsold because of the smuggling and dumping of rice through Republic of Benin and other border posts that we have in the country and that he would want us to do something about it. Secondly, we also have members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria who also complained that they have thousands of crates of eggs that they could not sell together with even some of the processed chickens that they could not sell also arising from problem of smuggling and dumping of poultry products into Nigeria. 

“A week after the borders were closed, the same rice millers’ association called to tell us that all the rice that they had in their warehouses have all been sold. Indeed, a lot of people have been depositing money in their accounts and they have even been telling them “please hold on don’t even pay money yet until we finish processing your rice.

“The Poultry Associations have also come to say that they have sold all their eggs, they have sold all their processed chickens and that demand is rising. So, when you asked, what is the benefit, the benefit of the border closure on the economy of Nigeria, I just used two products – poultry and rice. The benefit is that it has helped to create jobs for our people, it has helped to bring our integrated rice milling that we have in the country back into business again and they are making money. Our rural communities are bubbling because there are activities, because rice farmers are able to sale their paddy. The poultry business is also doing well, and also maize farmers who produce maize from which feeds are produced are also doing business. These are the benefits.”

Since the launch of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Program by President Buhari in 2015, Nigeria has seen an astronomical rise in the number of rice, millet and maize farmers helping to boost local production exponentially.  

“Between 2015 and also now, we have also seen an astronomical rise in the number of companies, corporate and individuals that are setting up mills, integrated mills and even small mills in the various areas. And the central bank and the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development have been the centre of not just only encouraging the production of rice in Nigeria but also funding these farmers by given them loans to buy seedlings, fertilizers or some of the herbicides that they need for their rice production. 

“You will all recall that we have been embarking on a programme where we are saying if you are involved in the business of smuggling or dumping of rice in the country, we will close your account in the banking industry,” Emefiele said


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