The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association on Wednesday warned that there would be unprecedented smuggling of food products following a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari’s that the Central Bank of Nigeria should no longer make foreign exchange available for food importation.
Director-General of NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, told journalists in Lagos that even though the directive was done in good faith, it will create more problems at the end and lead to increased smuggling through the country’s porous land borders.
Olawale said Nigeria currently lacked the capacity to meet its local food demand, adding that this will lead to corruption and smuggling into the country.
He said, “With the recently signed AfCFTA, Nigeria will further create a thriving market for other countries and will remain a dumping ground for imported goods.
“A wholesale immediate withdrawal of FOREX without giving a buffer period for businesses to adjust and source for alternatives would boost smuggling activities.
“This will have serious consequences for the economy.”