The Kwara chapter of Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), has cautioned the Federal Government against reopening of borders, saying that the action might have negative effects on the economy.
Mr Tajudeen Ajisefinni, the state NASME chairman said this while briefing newsmen on the state of the economy, in Ilorin on Monday.
Ajisefinni urged the government not to succumb to pressure from some quarters over the border closure.
He said that the planned reopening of the borders in 2021 would only offer short term relief with great and awful consequences on the nation’s economy in future.
According to him, government should inject some stimulus for small and medium business owners in the country rather than open the borders to all kinds of smuggling that will further cripple the economy.
The chairman urged Kwara Government to collaborate with the association towards resuscitating the state economy.
He said that business owners in the state suffered losses due to the COVID-19 lockdown, urging the government to open up irrigation centres for farmers across the state for dry season farming.
“It is pertinent for the state government to put in place irrigation system by creating irrigation centres and leasing them out to clusters of farmers for dry season farming.
“We may agree that there is no government’s business in business. However, there is a need for government to provide an enabling environment and put in place necessary infrastructure.
“Therefore, individual may not be capable of affording cost of land for farming, but government can do that to generate revenue.
“No individual can afford to buy millions of naira worth of irrigation equipment, whereas government can do this to generate income,” he said.
He frowned at the export of raw farm produce, saying there was a need for value addition to maximize profit.
Ajisefinni also called on financial institutions in the country to review their policy on lending, saying there was need for banks to know their customers and their businesses. This, he said was necessary for banks to review their terms and conditions in case the borrowers had problems in their businesses.