Some cross-border businessmen on Sunday say they were discussing with companies from Cote d’Ivoire to establish branches in Nigeria to retain their patronage.
The businessmen, whose wares have been trapped in transit due to Nigeria’s land border closure since August, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that they had incurred huge losses.
The traders, who deal on cosmetics and perfumes, told NAN that most of their trapped goods had gone bad due to exposure to unfavourable weather.
The Chairman of Fragrance World Nigeria Ltd., Oscar Ikechukwu, said that he had 10 lorry load of goods worth N30 million at the border.
He said that the goods would not withstand harsh weather.
“We are talking to the companies in Abidjan to consider coming over to Nigeria to establish, in order for us not to fall victims of border closure anymore, and for them to retain our patronage.
“Nigeria is their largest buyer; therefore, some of them have agreed to come to Nigeria to set up plants by January,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Creams and Confectioneries Ltd, Kate Nwaosu, told NAN that an association she belonged to had approached some manufacturing firms in Abijan to establish branches in Nigeria.
According to her, the firms are concerned about power supply needed for their productions.
“Because of the border closure, we have run out of stock for long, while our goods are out there at Seme Border spoiling. We cannot continue like this; hence, we are pooling resources to solve the problem.
“If the companies finally come here, it will save us logistics costs, and products prices will come down.
“Similarly, jobs will be created for our people; so it is a win-win situation,” she said.
Jude Okoma, a trans-border transporter, said that transporters were worst hit by the border closure.
According to him, many of their patrons are Nigerian living in Cote D’Ivoire.