The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, on Monday said that the nation’s land borders would remain closed until neighbouring countries agree to implement mutual anti-smuggling policies.
Emefiele said this after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It was reported that Nigeria had closed its land borders since August, in order to curb smuggling of goods into the country.
Emefiele told State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting that Nigerian rice and poultry farmers have particularly benefitted from the border closure.
He said they (farmers) have been able to sell-off accumulated produce, hitherto hindered by illegal importation and smuggling of the items into the country.
The CBN governor said “In November 2015 President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN and some state governors went to Kebbi State to launch the ‘Wet Season Rice Farming’. Since then, we have seen an astronomical growth in the number of farmers who have been going into rice farming and our paddy production has gone up also quite exponentially.
“Between 2015 and 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 various areas.
“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 close your account in the banking industry; and that is very effective.