Let me make the following confession: I am not a Buharist, I am an advocate of good governance. I have read patiently and read with rapt attention the reason being put forward by the promoters and supporters of the recent ban of cars import through the land boarders, however, up till this hour, I am not convinced with their reasons to justify that awkward policy.
Government all over the world utilises the principles of market segmentation in their dealings with the citizens, so that the policies being put in place would be tailored-made to suit the various strata of the citizen. How on earth should a sensible government come up with a one-size-fit-all policy when the environment in which the policy is expected to be implemented is segmented? How would a car dealer that can afford to import only one unit of car through the Maigatari border in Jigawa state be made to ship the car through Seme border in Lagos covering thousands of kilometer when his market is in Jigawa/Kano axis? What about the risk involved?
What happened to those small scale traders who go about their businesses in the Kamba, Illela, MaiAdua, Mubi and other border communities which relied mostly on those car importers and their workers for survival? Is the government saying they should all park to Seme Border to continue with their businesses?
What this policy is saying in a simple term is that, an agency of government that is saddled with the responsibilities of collecting import duties have failed in the discharge of its responsibilities. And coming up with this policy is not the panacea to the problem, rather, it would compound the problem since thousands of people would certainly loss their jobs.
Can’t government utilize information technology to tackle the problem of smuggling? What happened to the inter-agency collaboration that is being put in place? What about the capacity building for the Customs personnel?
These are some of the things that need to be done, instead of subjecting the poor masses to avoidable hardship.
I am happy that the National Assembly had intervened by asking the executive arm to suspend that policy. That is a good development, because Buhari, Hamid Ali, Kemi Adosun cannot claim to know better or feel the pulse of the people than the over 400 parliamentarians who were drawn from their various field of human endeavour.
Mohammed Auta, Jalingo, Taraba State
Culled from Dailytrust Newspaper