The Ndigbo Unity Forum (NUF), a pan-Igbo socio-political group, claimed that traders have lost about N15 billion since Nigerian authorities shut the borders with neighbouring countries.
The President of NUF, Mr Augustine Chukwudum, disclosed this in Enugu on Saturday.
He decried economic hardship being faced by Nigerians, especially traders nationwide and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider re-opening the borders for legitimate trade to ease the gradual economic suffocation in the country.
According to him, NUF, disturbed by the plight of traders, went on a fact-finding mission in Lagos, Aba, Onitsha, Nnewi and Nkpor Markets and discovered that traders have lost over N15 billion in sales already.
“According to our findings, 80 per cent of the major customers that trade with Nigeria traders come from Togo, Cameroun, Chad, Gabon, Congo and other African countries.
“It is unfortunate that some people are misleading the president by advising him to engage in blanket closure of our official borders that have all government security agencies that are fully in charge of checkmating unwanted imported goods into the country.
“This situation has thereby created serious and avoidable economic hardship to the suffering masses by stopping the movement of goods from Nigeria to other countries.
“In as much as NUF support President Buhari’s agriculture agenda, the government must not deprive traders economic right with border closure, which has brought untold hardship on them and Nigerian masses,’’ he said.
The NUF boss noted that the group was raising the alarm because the Federal Government got it wrong by stopping the movement of goods from Nigeria to other countries.