The Federal Government (FG) has been applauded for closing Nigeria’s borders.
Retired Col. Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), had explained that the borders where closed to checkmate three issues; including importation of arms and animations, smuggling and human trafficking.
In a statement on Tuesday, Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), said the decision was to protect Nigeria’s economic interest.
MURIC added, “This decision is long overdue. Nigeria should not continue to be the economic fall guy of her neighbours. Anyone familiar with recent happenings in the global community will know that governments all over the world are taking economic decisions to protect their citizens. Britain’s Brexit saga and the United State’s border conflict with Mexico are good instances. The same America is engaged in cut-throat trade war with China.
“The fact that tiny Benin Republic, Nigeria’s closest neighbour to the West whose population is just 11.8 million imports 936,522 tons of rice which its population does not need is astounding. How can Benin Republic be the sixth largest importer of rice in the world? Is it not at Nigeria’s expense? Yet it is not Benin Republic alone. Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Mali and Niger are all milking Nigeria.
“It is also not about rice alone. Our porous borders have been hurting other products. Petrol is a good example. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA recently revealed that Nigeria was using 61 million liters daily before the closure but this has reduced to 50.22 since Nigeria closed its borders. This implies that daily supply of petrol for local consumption has drastically reduced by 10,078,000 liters. This reduction is a vehement testimony to the wisdom in FG’s decision to close Nigeria’s borders.
“It is in this light that MURIC commends FG for its foresight. We charge Nigerians to unite in their support for the programmes of the government. We have all seen that President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the country. He is honest, transparent and pragmatic. His Spartan way of life despite the fact that he has had so many opportunities to enrich himself in the past and even now is enough proof that he has no plan to enrich himself or his friends.
“We implore Nigerians who are involved one way or the other in economic sabotage to seek other noble ways of survival and to sieze one of the several windows of opportunities opened by this administration for self-employment. We invite opposition figures and other critics to join hands with FG in strengthening the country’s economy. We can survive without politics but no nation can survive without a stable and virile economy.”
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