Mr Momoh Aliyu, a Financial Expert says reduction in import to the country is an indication that Nigerians are looking inward in consuming what is being produced locally.
Reacting to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report, in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Aliyu said the decrease in imports was a welcome development.
He said Nigeria had been substituting local production for foreign consumption which was not good for the economy.
“This development indicates that we are consuming what we are producing and this will guarantee growth in our economy.
“With the border closure, Nigerians are automatically consuming their agricultural produce, hence, creating more jobs and value chains in the economy.
“It’s a common knowledge that with a less import and more exports, Nigerians are appreciating their local production which before now, they were not able to look inwards.
“With a population of almost 200 million, the market is here. What this means on the long run is that, exporting Nigeria products will be in dire needs of foreign consumers which will relatively boost the Nigerian economy,” he explained.
Aliyu, also the Managing Director of Cyber1 Systems Network International, said government by this turn out of event, would realise its strength in the global market and ensure strict adherence to the ECOWAS treaty on trade.
“A cursory look at major imports in the country shows 70 per cent illegal importations of goods.
“With this recent NBS report, government should strengthen its borders for full compliance to ECOWAS treaty to ensure protection of infant industries in the country,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mrs Zainab Abubakar, a lecturer in the Economics Department, Federal University Dutse, said that the decrease in imports in the third quarter of 2019 was due to closure of borders by the government.
Abubakar said the decrease in imports and increase in exports was very good for the nation’s economy.
She explained that Nigerians had been forced to look inward as they could no longer cope with the process of importing goods.
The lecturer advised government to continue to watch the borders and ensure that the rules were not broken to sustain the development and to guarantee steady growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Government need to be more proactive to block smugglers from importing goods through our porous borders into the country as some of the smuggled items pass through without being checked,’’ she said.
According to NBS, the total imports into the country in the third quarter of 2019 decreased by 2.70 per cent while exports within the period increased by 15.02 per cent.