Dr Godswill Onyekwere, the Director, Institute of Corporate Administration, has called on the Federal Government to create some palliatives to cushion the effect of border closure.
Onyekwere made the call on Friday in Keffi during an implant training for directorate staff of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
“The economic measures will produce positive or negative results if we stop importing those things that can be sourced locally.
“We have been weak in the aspect of coming up with palliative to cushion the ugly effect of such negative and hash measures.
“Most people are complaining that past sacrifices in belt tightening have not yielded much benefits, hence, they are reluctant and finding it difficult to accept the current measure of border closure.’’
Onyekwere said the action could be a good measure, adding that concerted effort should be made to do things that could moderate the effect.
He recalled a recent statement made by the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo “that Nigerians can produce rice that can feed the nation for 20 years without importing rice.’’
“I agree with that but funding of agriculture is not yet in that direction, hence, attaining that is going to be difficult.
“However, if enough resources are channeled toward agriculture in the country, we are capable of doing more than feeding the nation.
“Just like it happened in some of the South East states when they went into massive rice production, the current statistics shows the installed plants do not have sufficient capacity due to low cultivation.
“Low cultivation is affected by poor funding. When you look at the 2020 budget, the possibility of accessing it is uncertain, therefore, it is not yet a focused area of investment for the government,” he said.
Onyekwere said the closing of the border was not a new phenomenon, adding that when it happened four years ago, measures were taken in that direction.
He said there was massive investment and increase in millions of tonnes of rice production after which immediately the border was opened.
He said that for the country’s economy to improve, the Federal Government needed to benchmark and find out what other countries with similar circumstances had been able to achieve in similar situation.
On the training, he said it was meant to prepare the participants to understand the changes in their working environment.
“It is also meant to get them acquainted with the exclusive developments in ICT and many other changes around the work environment.’’ (NAN)