By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
A member of the National Assembly, Senator Adamu Abdullahi, has lent his voice to the continued closure of the nation’s land borders by the federal government.
Abdullahi representing Nasarawa West senatorial district while supporting the closure urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to yield to pressure from any quarters to open land borders for now.
The Chairman of Senate committee on Agriculture who spoke on Wednesday commended President Buhari for standing out to challenges of insecurity, failing economy and corruption menace in the country adding that the border closure is indeed curing many ills afflicting the nation.
According to him, oppositions to border closure are coming mainly from two main quarters, on one hand is the pressure from the neighbouring nations for its opening, and on the other hand are the thunderous noises from the smugglers and profiteers of the border closure”.
He said Nigeria has to first think of her survival before considering the impact of the closure on neighbours as the nation must lay the foundation for its growth to prop her industrialists to reason and grow.
The border closure he said must continue until that time when the unbridled appetite for foreign consumption is brought to perpetual control, adding that Nigerians must be made to emulate other countries’ nationals consuming what they produce.
Said he: ‘’Our neigbouring countries have become gateways and transit route for all manners of commodities ranging from automobiles to foodstuffs such as rice, corns, sorghum, palm oil, tomatoes, eggs and dairy products. Republic of Benin became one of the world’s top importers of rice because of its Nigerian market. Almost all of the rice it imported from Thailand, Indonesia etc found its way to Nigeria through the Seme border.
‘’We therefore stand with this government shoulder to shoulder in support of this policy for border closure, and we are urging further that the border closure should continue. We have a duty to protect our own, if you don’t want to eat Nigerian grown rice, that’s your own problem.
Senator Abdullahi emphasised that the nation cannot allow economy of other nations to flourish or thrive at the expense of its own.
He advised government to ensure that the borders remain closed until Nigeria’s neighbours comply with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols on transit of goods.
He warned that “if we don’t do that we are going to be in deep problem. By the time we begin to operate the African Continental Free Trade, Nigeria will be a dumping ground for every product from African countries”.