Experts from the Social Integrity Network (SINE), have revealed that Nigeria has lost over 300, 000 jobs to smuggling, importation of substandard products, conspiracy and connivance.
The National Coordinator of the group, Mallam Ibrahim Isah, in a press statement noted that the decision by the president to close the border is a welcomed development and a blessing to Nigeria.
Mallam Isah said, “We cannot fold our arms and allow smuggling to take over our economy thereby subjecting us to high economic risk and massive downsizing of industrial workers.
“Many local industries have collapsed due to the high rate of importation of substandard products such as colored corrugated roofing sheets, aluminum roofing sheets as well as galvanized corrugated roofing sheets.
In the statement, the National Coordinator recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari issues an Executive Order forcing the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service to identify corrupt officers aiding and abeting the crime.
“Despite the hues and cries of Nigerians on the influx of smuggled goods, Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) is yet to make any public arrest of economic saboteurs thereby confirming the fact that there is strong conspiracy existing within the system.
“The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has helped to shut down some warehouses with substandard roofing sheets in Imo and Anambra states respectively. We want the president to set ‘Eagle Eyes’ at the seaports for effective monitoring policy,” he said.
Malam Isah requested the Federal Government to ratify a strong national policy that would help protect the economic interest of the local manufacturers, also reduce revenue evasion rate which, according to him has cost Nigerian Customs a minimum of N1bilion loss weekl, all to smugglers.
He said, “If Buhari must triumph in his fight against corruption and insurgency, he must take bold steps towards sanitizing the Customs Service and prevent the persisting massive smuggling activities in a bid to further demonstrate strong political-will of promoting local content and safeguarding the future of over 200million Nigerians.”