President Muhammadu Buhari has said that it is regrettable there are traders in Nigeria and African sub region who simply do not play by the rules.
Buhari stated this recently when a delegation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry from Nigeria and West Africa paid him a courtesy visits in Aso Rock, Abuja.
“it is painful to note that some Nigerians choose profits over patriotism, and whose selfish practices in perpetrating smuggling and counterfeiting help keep foreign factories working while closing ours.”
He assured the group of his administration’s readiness to “work with them to bring an end to smuggling and the dumping of substandard items in West Africa and on the continent.
“We have all heard stories about the dangerous and sometimes, fatal impact of fake drugs and foods on our citizens.
“We have also seen how fake electrical items have led to fires in homes and markets thereby destroying lives and property. Most of these substandard and illegal items are smuggled through our land borders.
The President stated further, “After many years of diplomacy and aggressive regulatory oversight which yielded few results, we decided to close our land borders for a limited time to assess the impact of this measure.
“Within a few short weeks since the partial border closures began, we are already seeing a decline in the volumes of counterfeit smuggled goods in some of our major markets across the country.
“This validates our action as a Government when we insist that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement must not only promote free trade, but legal trade of quality made-in-Africa goods and services.
“We will soon finalise the National Action Committee on the implementation of the AfCFTA.
“We expect the organized private sector to continue to support us in achieving a Free Trade Area that employs Africans to produce high-quality made-in-Africa products.”
On the honour bestowed on him by NACCIMA,President Buhari thanked the group for the honour done to him with the investiture, stressing that, “I will not let them down.
“Trade is central to our economy; we are a nation of traders, and have been for centuries. I will ensure that we continue to give the sector full support.”