Prof. Park Idisi, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Abuja, has said that the proposed border reopening will setback the nation’s economy and pro-government policy on domestic production.
Mr Idisi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the reopening would lead to outflow of nation’s currency, as many Nigerians would be buying more of foreign instead of local goods.
“Border reopening will depress the little goods and services we have, affect the sales of our local rice that is already being patronised by Nigerians.
“The cry of some rich men to import goods does not make sense, it will weaken the economy, lead to outflow of our currency because Nigerians will be buying more of foreign goods,’’ he said.
However, he said that the move could benefit the country depending on government’s position on the type of goods and services to be allowed into the country.
“If it is all comers’ affairs like globalisation or like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements, then we will have a lot of problems to solve because foreign goods at cheaper rates will flow into our country.
“This process will not help our local productions; the farmers, producers and industries will systematically fade way, then capacity utilisation will fall, many Nigerians will loose their jobs and productions will fall,” he said.
He noted that Nigeria lacked capacity to produce various consumables, adding that government should push its policy of domestic production higher instead of reopening the boarder.
“If the border is opened and we have goods and services to render, it will strengthen our naira but in a case we do not have goods and services to render, then our economy will be affected,’’ he said.
Mr Idisi said that the process of reopening the border should be done with care to avoid Chinese and other countries flooding the country with different goods.
“Though, we are not really producing but we must not push away local rice producers, where Nigeria is already gaining some advantages and also from MSMEs.
“All the gains the present administration has made in MSMEs in agriculture and in some goods and services will be wiped away.
“We are back to zero level, if adequate measures are not put in place before reopening the border,” he said.