Home Country Actions INSPIRING COUNTRY ACTIONS: THE GAINS OF THE BORDER CLOSURE

INSPIRING COUNTRY ACTIONS: THE GAINS OF THE BORDER CLOSURE

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Hi, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s edition of the Inspiring Country Actions Series!

As we promised, we shall continue to keep you abreast of Government’s actions, especially those that have contributed to re-branding the image of the country at the international arena.

This week, we are focusing our discussion on the gains from the border closure so far.

On the 20th of August, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the partial border closure to eradicate smuggling activities, especially rice.

Initially, the border closure announcement was received with mixed feelings by Nigerians, especially those whose businesses were affected.

The policy did not go down well with many Nigerians but today, the gains far outweigh the losses. Prior to the border closure, Nigeria was importing about 1.3 million metric tons of rice into the country. A large percentage of those imports were illegally brought into the country, particularly from Benin Republic, thus, grossly affecting the rate of rice production within the country.

The standard practice for bringing goods into any ECOWAS country is that the goods must be containerized and checked at the borders before entry. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s neighboring countries failed to comply with those trade regulations, and that necessitated the border closure by the Government.

So, as a good Nigerian, did you know that since the closure, goods coming into the country are checked at Apapa or Tin Can Island, Lagos and no longer smuggled into the country from the porous borders?

Did you know that over N5 million is made as revenue on a daily basis since the closure which is much higher than previously recorded?

Did you know that local production of food items and other agricultural produce has been encouraged and supported by the Government? Now, before other imported products enter the country, our local producers would have finished selling their products. This is the reason for the booming agricultural revolution in the country and why young people have embraced farming and agriculture.

Now hear this, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Hon. Timipre Sylva announced recently that there is a significant reduction in fuel consumption by 8 million liters per day as a result of the closure. This is a clear indication that our petroleum products were being smuggled into other neighbouring countries before the border closure, a practice that must have been the reason for the shortage of supplies within the country.

Now, you can agree with the Government that the border closure was a decision in the right direction.

For us at the #UgwumbaLeadershipCenter, we salute the courage of President Muhammdu Buhari for his foresight and for not yielding to the cries of the people, as it is always better to “suffer a little and enjoy forever”.

This campaign is powered by the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa. For more information, please, visit www.rebrandnigeria.org

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