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Atedo Peterside kicks as FG exempts Dangote and Bua Groups from land border closure order

  • Dangote, Bua companies got waivers to export to Togo, Niger Republic, others

Reknowned economist and founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr Atedo Peterside, on Tuesday bemoaned selective waivers given to select “well-connected” Dangote Industries Limited and the Bua Group to break the embargo on movement of goods and services across Nigeria’s land borders.

Lamenting that the lopsidedness of the waivers, Mr Peterside said “what is good for the goose is also good for the gander,” adding that the federal government should “consider small honest businesses that are not so well-connected.”

Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, had told an investor on Monday that the federal government had given them a waiver to export cement to Togo and Niger Republic despite the closure of Nigeria’s land borders.

He stated via his official Twitter handle on Tuesday that “allowing legitimate exporters and importers to move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer.Why refuse everybody else and allow only one company (Dangote)?

“This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected persons.”

Later, he made additional tweet, saying: “I have since learnt that Bua Group were also allowed to export goods through Nigeria’s “closed” land borders. Federal Government should please accept that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. When will the Federal Governemnt consider small honest businesses that are not so well-connected?”

Both tweets have garnered widespread comments and retweets from his over 51.4k followers.

Nigeria’s land borders with its neighbours including Benin and Niger Republic was initially closed on August 20, 2019 in a move meant to curb the smuggling of large quantities of rice and other commodities.

President Muhammadu Buhari later extended the closure of the borders to January 31, 2020 and it has not been reviewed since.

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