Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
A Non-Govermental Organisation, the Federation of Informal Workers Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON), has called on the Federal Government to lift the ban on the sale of petroleum products in the border communities.
FIWON Secretary General, Gbenga Komolafe, in a press conference in Abeokuta, said that the ban had inflicted hardship on the living standard of residents in border communities.
The body also added that the indiscriminate embargoes on goods should be lifted to allow prices to stabilize at levels comparable to those in neighbouring countries.
According to Komolafe, this could be achieved through harmonization of tariffs in the sunb-region, and not the unilateral restrictions placed on goods by individual countries.
He also charged Nigerian authorities to strengthen its institutions to be more efficient in facilitating mutual trade with the rest of the world, stressing that this would involve tackling corruption and the weak enforcement of trade protocols by customs officials, deployment of technology and overhauling of the ports infrastructure to improve case of trading.
He noted that an integrated framework will enable coordination with neighbours and ensure better functioning of land borders.
He also called for immediate recall of the vast array of security agencies whose personnel inflict unnecessary harassment and extortion on poor working people.
“Technology deployment, such as scanners at necessary entry points at the border to detect banned goods, especially illegal arms and ammunition should be enforced,” the FIWON Secretary General added.