The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has called on the Federal Government to review the land border closure because its members are losing market share daily to other African countries.
The President, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, made this known in a statement issued by the association on Friday.
Titled ‘MAN’s position on the reopening of land border closure’, Ahmed said major manufacturers of beverages, polypropylene bags, tobacco, cement, toiletries, and cosmetics industries were losing markets they had worked very hard to secure in the West and Central African region.
According to him, these manufacturers were hoping to leverage their market share to secure a strong position in the African Continental Free Trade Area, which kicks off in January 2021.
“Since the closure, the association has conducted a research with its members, the outcome is that some sectors had a considerable increase in their productivity, while some sectors recorded a sharp decline,” Ahmed said.
He added, “In particular, the export group of the association clearly suffered huge losses due to logistics issues occasioned by the closure as it takes an average of eight weeks for the carriers to ship and truck goods within countries in the same region vis-à-vis trucking through the land border, which takes an average of seven to 10 days.
Furthermore, the increased traffic through our seaport as a result of the closure has increased the perennial congestion at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports leading to greater challenges to exporters and increased demurrages cost and other port levies.
“The implications of these are that manufacturers in Nigeria have continued to lose and are still losing market share on daily basis in the West African corridor as export of manufacturers’ products has now become overly less competitive,” he said.
MAN president said a review on the status of the border closure was pertinent and in line with the core objective of the AfCFTA protocol, which was premised on the liberalization of intra-regional trade in Africa.
Recall that the Federal government had in August 2019 announced the closure of Nigerian land borders to curtail the activities of smugglers.
Also, a few days ago, Finance, Budget, and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed dropped an indication that the borders will be reopened very soon.