The Association of Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria has said it loses at least N13 billion weekly to the closure of the country’s borders by the Federal Government.
The President of AFFPON, Miftahu Ya’u, made this known when he addressed newsmen on Thursday.
Ya’u spoke with the newsmen at the freight forwarders and importers joint stakeholders’ forum on the opening of Lolo border in Kebbi State, which links Nigeria with Benin Republic.
He said: “The situation at the Lolo border is a very sad one.
“Our findings reveal that truck drivers are sleeping on bare floor with some exposed to attacks by snakes and others falling sick due to the unfavourable conditions they find themselves in.
“The closure of the border also has a negative impact on the freight forwarding and import and export sub-sectors, causing delays, increased costs and disruptions to trade activities.
“The Arewa Economic Forum revealed that the northern Nigerian businessmen from the affected states are losing an estimated sum of N13 billion weekly to the border closure to trade, farms and market shut down.
“It is imperative at this juncture to state that the Association of Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria is a law-abiding association and therefore gives 100 percent support to the government of Nigeria over this development, especially on the Nigeria and Niger Republic borders.
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“However, this association has no intention to interfere with the closure of the Nigeria/Niger borders but rather is focusing on the need for the government to provide an alternative route that will give room for thousands of containers trapped outside our borders to gain access into the country.”