Eminent Nigerians on Saturday canvassed support for President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration on the closure of Nigeria’s border aimed at boosting the nation’s economic growth.
They made the call at the 2019 Investiture of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Saturday in Lagos.
The theme of the event was: “Nigeria’s Emerging New Economy: Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects.”
A former Secretary-General, Commonwealth of Nations, Emeka Anyaoku, said that closure of the border would boost economic development of the country.
“We should support our foreign border closure by President Muhammadu Buhari and his ultimate importance to the homegrown policy.
“If it will be the government’s concentration in a demonstrable manner on measures for enhancing the country’s development of agriculture and agro-industry; and also for enhancing the country’s manufacturing capacity to be able to serve our internal consumption and export.
It is clear that the abundant variety of Nigeria’s natural resources and our large population constitute adequate phases for the country’s economic prosperity, if the federal and state governments can show a determination to provide the necessary policy and practical support.
“And also if our citizens can be persuaded or even coerced through regulation into curbing their appetite for imported, rather than locally produced goods, there will be a tremendous turn around in the economy,” Mr Anyaoku said.
Commenting, Baba Musa, the Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), urged Nigerians to encourage and understand the reason for the border closure.
“The border closure was not an attempt to stifle business or discourage manufacturers from selling their goods.
“It is to check smuggling and multiplication of arms that are coming in through the borders to create insecurity in the country and to enable genuine traders to move their goods and services, through the normal channel and pay the appropriate duties and charges.
“It’s a welcome development, we have seen the outcome.
“Nigerians should encourage this until such a time that our neighbours come to terms, on the need to protect our borders from smuggling and activities that create insecurity,” Mr Musa said.
Also, the Chairman, Board of Fellows and Practice Licence, Bayo Olugbemi, said that the country could surmount its economic challenges, if people could cultivate the right mind and are liberated.
“Most of the economies in the world today that are doing well do not have the resources that Nigeria has.
“All they have is human capability and that has come to play in the multinational revolution, which is leveraging on the digital space.
“So, we need to get this through to the public and make concerted efforts so that we are not left behind. This is why we chose the theme.
“The emerging economy is digitally driven and I believe that Nigeria has great opportunities in this field,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ceremony was aimed at honouring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth and sustainability of the banking industry in Nigeria and African continent.
NAN also reports that 122 individuals were conferred with the Associate of the Institute, 82 Senior members and 14 Honorary fellows.