The Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisations of Nigeria (FIWON), on Tuesday begged the federal government to urgently lift ban on sale of petroleum products in the border communities.
The General Secretary of FIWON, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, spoke with newsmen in Abeokuta on the hardship being faced by people in the border communities.
He said those living in the border communities had been subjected to untold hardship since the borders were closed on August 20, 2019, on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Komolafe said a survey conducted by FIWON indicated that residents of border communities in last two years were faced with harsh economic realities, as many of them who are gainfully employed have lost their jobs, with large numbers of Small and Medium Enterprises have folded up businesses.
The scribe said that effort by government to restrict importation of certain food products, as well as, curbing of snuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries have yielded little success, in the last two years.
He said,”It is clear from this modest survey that the attempt by the Nigerian government to restrict importation of certain food products as well as curb the smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries has met with very limited success while the trade restrictions have resulted in unmitigated disaster for millions of poor people especially women, youth,. and other vulnerable population cohorts whose livelihoods have been blocked.
“Rogues security agents and powerful interests have ensured that the banned products are still being exchanged while poor working people are trampled on and prevented from.being economically productive. Local economies are being destroyed while inequality, crime ,and insecurity proliferate.”
The group, on behalf of the residents called for the extant trade protocols especially within the ECOWAS framework , with the introduction of one stop tariff.
It also called for the deployment of scanners at various entry points at the borders , to detect banned goods, especially illegal arms and ammunition.
The residents through FIWON also appealed to the Ogun State Government and representatives of the border communities in the National Assembly to urgently intervened on the plights of the people in those communities.