A tweet by an investment banker and economist Atedo Peterside sparked a debate on Tuesday on the export waiver granted manufacturing giants, Dangote Industries and BUA Group.
The issue trended for hours on social media, with users criticising the Federal Government for favouring big companies.
In the tweet via his handle @AtedoPeterside, the Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc founder said: “Allowing legitimate exporters and importers to move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer.
“Why refuse everybody else and allow only one company (Dangote)? This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected persons.”
In another tweet hours later, Peterside said Dangote was not the only company granted such a waiver.
He insisted that smaller businesses should be granted the advantage.
He said: “I have since learnt that Bua Group was also allowed to export goods through Nigeria’s ‘closed’ land borders.
“Federal Government should please accept that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
When will the Federal Government consider small honest businesses that are not so well-connected?”
Bloomberg on Monday reported that Nigeria had allowed Dangote Cement to resume exports across land borders, raising hopes that trade with neighbours may resume after a year-long blockade.
It quoted Michel Puchercos, chief executive officer of Africa’s biggest cement producer, as saying that the company was permitted to export to Niger and Togo in the third quarter for the first time in 10 months.