Magnus Eze, Enugu
Unimaginable hardship has hit many traders of South East extraction in various parts of the country, following the recent closure of the nation’s borders by the Federal Government.
South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) said although the closure has effectively curtailed the smuggling of illicit and prohibited items, especially foreign rice, it has ,however, impacted negatively on private businesses and the nation’s economy.
A statement in Enugu, yesterday, by SEAMATA President General, Gozie Akudolu and Secretary General, Alex Okwudili, lamented that genuine traders from neighbouring countries could no longer buy goods from Nigeria.
They appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to kindly consider the plight of millions of Nigerian traders and direct security agencies to allow foreign traders with legitimate and wholesome goods to cross the boarders.
According to them, this will not only improve the welfare of the traders but also help in the continued growth of the economy of the nation.
SEAMATA noted that this move would save the nation the embarrassment of sending lots of traders into the already “over-saturated labour market” and further block the chances of the nation’s teeming youths from being gainfully engaged as trade apprentices.
In a related development, of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been accused of side-lining the South East and South West from benefiting from intervention projects of the bank.
Emefiele was alleged to be funding agricultural intervention programmes in South South, his home region and the Northern states, while abandoning the South East and South West.
A pro-Buhari group, the Zikist-Buharist Movement (ZBM), South East zone, stated this in a statement in Enugu, yesterday.
The statement titled “CBN governor’s marginalisation of South East: Protest to Mr. President” signed by Stanley Ohajuruka, Chairman and Godwin Onwusi, Secretary, called on President Buhari to call the CBN Governor to order before he jeopardised the Next Level agenda of government of the APC.