A member of House of Reps, Taiwo Kolawole (APC-Lagos), has lauded the Federal Government’s decision on the closure of Nigerian borders.
According to him, such development would boost the economy.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Aug.20, ordered partial closure of land borders due to economic and security threats.
Kolawole, who represents Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency, said that closing the borders would enhance the economy.
“The federal government has closed the borders to sanitise the country.
“People at the grassroots may think getting things across border is gainful, but anytime they go out to buy foreign products with our currency out there, they devalue our own currency.
“The value of our currency is synonymous with the quality of life in our country and for us to be able to add value to the currency, we have to consume what we are producing,” Kolawole said.
He said that grains import amounted to 10 per cent of the country’s foreign expenditure because the country felt it couldn’t feed itself.
“Now that the present administration has shown interest in the production of grains, all hands must be on deck to sanitise the economy,” he said.
Kolawole said that some of the products being imported into the country were not of standard as many of them came illegally through land borders.
“Some of these products have expired, some did not even meet up with our standard, and Standard Organisation (SON) has no opportunity to check or test their quality status before bringing them to the country at the land borders.
“The rice we are purchasing has expired and our people go there and boost the economy of foreign countries by buying their expired products,” he said.Kolawole, however, advised farmers and stakeholders to take advantage of government’s intervention fund aimed at assisting them to produce more for local consumption.
“Facilities by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions are to encourage stakeholders in agricultural sector so they can boost the economy,” he said.
Mr Wale Adegbite, a former Chairman of Ogun Chapter of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said that the closure of the borders had enhanced sales of locally produced goods in the market.
Adegbite said that local companies now have level playing field to compete with foreign imported goods.
According to him, the closure of the borders had stopped entry of goods into the country from neighbouring countries without payment of appropriate duties and thereby increasing sales of local goods.
Reacting to the federal government’s decision to extend the closure of the borders till Jan. 31, 2020, he said that the decision was a welcome development.