FUTO Lecture Video, UNIZIK, Nigeria Needs To Open Land Borders for EXPORT

FUTO Lecture Video, UNIZIK, Nigeria Needs To Open Land Borders for EXPORT

I flew into Asaba for Awka for a University Lecture at UNIZIK. It was an amazing ecosystem of intellectual conversation. My big friend Mr. Val Ozigbo, President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc chaired the event.

I will be in Awka in October. Yes, I have accepted the invitation of the Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,  Prof. Charles O. Esimone, to deliver a university-wide lecture in that institution named after the Zik of Africa, a Founding Father of modern Nigeria. The podium I will mount for this specific event has been graced by Prof Barth Nnaji, Senator David Mark, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kuka, among others. To have my name is that league is simply amazing.

From Awka, I will touch base in Onitsha to challenge the OMATA members who continue to thrive, creating Africa’s largest market, despite institutional challenges across Nigeria. My message to them:  band together, join efforts, push for scale to improve unit economics, and move upstream. We must create conglomerates and dominant category-king companies out of Onitsha. To do that, we must unleash entrepreneurial capitalism with the mindset of scaling capabilities over the rituals of “cultural trading”.

The orator teased me, proclaiming the lecture, as the “best in the history of the lecture series”. I thank the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellors for hosting me in the beautiful UNIZIK.

Today, did some OMATA connections in Onitsha.

Mr. President, Onitsha traders need help – relying on info shared, they are losing businesses. Onisha is the largest market in Africa. Nigeria can close land borders for import, but we need to allow export.

People that come to Onisha buy from Onisha and then import into their nations. Government should allow that. Men and women are weeping here because they cannot export. Open the land borders for export, at least. Just Export.

Please do not accuse me of anything – I have to speak for these men and women. I have sent a note to the minister that Nigeria needs to consider opening land borders for EXPORT at least.


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5 thoughts on “FUTO Lecture Video, UNIZIK, Nigeria Needs To Open Land Borders for EXPORT

  1. As always, everything about Nigeria somewhat appears complicated: if you take drastic action to correct or mitigate one problem, you end up creating paralysis in many other places; thinking things through could help, perhaps.

    We remain highly deficient when it comes to using data to make decisions; all this while – government’s argument centred on how much we are losing from importation or smuggling via the borders, no one cared to publish how much we also make through exports via the same land borders; a serious omission that shouldn’t be left unattended.

    When politicians want to run for highest offices in the land, you hear lines such as, ‘I am still making consultations with my people and associates’, apparently they forget to make the same all important ‘consultations’ on economic issues that affect multiple and varied constituencies and stakeholders; our decision-making capabilities as a people remain questionable…

    It’s the same reason why we argue on wage increase, without corresponding arguments on revenue generation and capacity to fund our unrivalled level of profligacy. To advance, we must shift from getting few calls right to that of getting most calls right!

  2. I wonder if other country’s will allow us to export without importing from them. We need to address the issues of country’s of origin and open up our borders. We need to move to a.model of subsidizing production instead of consumption, that way, our manufacturers would be able to compete better. We also need an honest discussion on the failure of our customs and.other armed services. If the customs were doing a good job these items we complain about wouldn’t come in or would be expensive due to the tariffs on them.

    1. Nigeria has an undue asymmetric influence on many neighboring countries. Some import medicines from Nigerian makers. Most will allow import of some essential items even as they ban others if tit for tit takes off. All the major manufacturers serve these small countries from Nigeria.


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