Border Closure Boosts Rice Sufficiency, Manufacturing, Says FG

The Federal Government on Thursday said the closure of Nigeria’s land borders was good for the economy as the country was now close to attaining self-sufficiency in rice production.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, also stated that the closure of the borders had enhanced the performance of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, as well as improved security across the country.

She spoke at a press briefing organised by her ministry in Abuja to announce the forthcoming 26th National Economic Summit.

Ahmed said, “At the national level, the closure of the land borders is one of the boldest decisions ever taken by any administration to curb insecurity, smuggling as well as kidnapping.

“This has in a positive way impacted Nigeria as we are closer to attaining self-sufficiency in rice production than at any time in point of history in our country.

“This spillover effect is also evident in other sectors, such as manufacturing, livestock, among others. This also provides an opportunity for the private sector to leverage increased local content and expand their businesses.”

The minister said to ensure a competitive economy, Nigeria must have a stable macro-economic condition and business climate that would keep transaction cost low, drive savings, improve investments and create jobs.

She said the effective implementation of government policies enabled Nigeria to move 15 places to number 131 in the 2020 Ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank.

According to her, the Federal Government is also working on operational, regulatory and legislative interventions to enable the country to move up to position of 100 in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.