Nigerians need to Harvest Opportunities created by Border Closure, Says Oil Magnate

The closure of land borders with neigbhouring countries by the Federal Government of Nigeria has been described as an opportunity for Nigerians to harvest the several jobs that are usually taken out of the country through export of raw materials.

Speaking exclusively to our correspondent in Abuja, Mr. Samuel Alabi, the Executive Director of Seven Oceans Oil and Gas Limited said the closure of border cannot come at a better time than now saying that it is time for serious minded businessman to wake and cease the opportunity.

Acoording to him, people may look at the border closure from different perspectives but he argued that at the end of day, it is a good thing for Nigerians.

Alabi said, “Why is it a good thing, it is a good thing because with the closure of the border, opportunities that we have been sending outside, we can now harvest them in-house through the processing of the raw material.

He cited an example on the revenue and job lost on the processing of raw cashew nut outside the country lamenting that in 2015, Nigeria exported about 170,000 tonnes of raw cashew to other countries that were processed and brought as import into Nigeria at a higher cost.

“In my search to package processed cashew nut, I discovered about an one hundred and seventy tonnes of raw cashew nut were exported from Nigeria and if we juxtapose the amount use in exporting and the fact that we can process those cashew nuts here, we would have created jobs and employment here because of the number of persons you would have employed.

“There are different value chains in the packaging of cashew nut, from salting, peppering, breaking of the nuts but we send these things out. But we sent them out and they employ other people to do these things and bring them back for us to buy.

Alabi explained that these are things the border closure is bringing adding that some of these things can remain here and create jobs despite the initial discomfort and hike in prices of goods.

“We are not unaware of the cry in hike of prices on some items, these initial discomfort are intended to spur people.Business minded people will wake up from their sleep and try to take advantage of increased cost of rice by going into rice farming that will lead to competition.

“If we suffer today, the high cost of rice will encourage people to go into rice farming and there is rice everywhere, next the number of rice farmers increase, supply meets demand and once supply meets demand what happens to price?

“These are simple facts of economics, price will come down. Again, it is a tough time but it is not only rice but other crops are affected”, he stressed.

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