The Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to reconsider its border closure policy for improved Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise’s Gross Domestic Product contribution to the economy.
The president of the association, Saviour Iche, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Iche said the nation’s current state of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protest was a clear indication for government to reconsider its stand on the issue.
According to him, the reopening of the borders will result in the re-engagement of MSMEs which were shut down or suffered some setback due to their closure.
Iche noted with concern that many local manufacturers had relocated to neighbouring countries to maintain market space and remain competitive.
He said many Nigerian manufactured products had been duplicated in other countries due to the inability of those goods to pass through the land borders.
This development, he said, was not beneficial to the Nigerian economy which was by all means seeking to stay afloat from the effects of the pandemic and the #EndSARS protests.
“We have just started to come out of COVID-19 and the crisis resulting from the #EndSARS protests.
“The issue of ground improves the nation’s capacity at youth engagement employment by reviving the neglected SMEs.
“Before the pandemic and the lockdown, the Nigerian economy was in a shaky and bad state and after the lockdown the government claimed that some money was released to support the SMEs,” he said.
He said that most of the SMEs had one loan facilities or the other they were servicing with the banks.
“The border closure policy of the government also affected the SMEs so badly as most of the products in Nigeria go through the land border to the neighbouring countries.”