Prof. Mustapha Mukhtar of Economics Department, Bayero University, Kano has advised Federal Government to still place ban on imported agricultural commodities, while considering reopening of land borders.
Mukhtar gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Thursday.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed had recently announced the government’s plan to reopen the land borders soon.
The lecturer said that Federal Government should also ban importation of any other products that could be produced within the country.
“The plan by the Federal Government to reopen land borders, if it is well regulated can be in the right direction.
“If it is done in order to encourage more exports and mainly importation of basic and necessary inputs that can help in production of goods and services then, I can say it is a right step in the right direction.
“Otherwise if it is just done without much regulation, it will only succeed in countering the previous effort that was done to encourage local production,” he explained.
Mukhtar also urged government that while reopening borders, effort should also be made in encouraging exportation of local products to help boost the economy.
Another economist, Dr Sam Fogbonjaiye said reopening land borders would inject some goods, commodities and services into the economy through trade.
According to him, people may be relieved while allowing importation of goods but that is not sustainable.
“Buying everything you consume as a nation will keep Nigeria dependent on import all through; this is not good for local production and will also cause capital flight.
“We need to increase our productive base and hinge on things we have comparative advantage in production to boost our economy. If not, unemployment will increase in the presence of inflation. This is called stagflation” he said.