Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh, the Deputy Majority Leader in the Lagos State House of Assembly on Sunday urged Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Government over the continued closure of the nation’s land borders.
Jimoh, representing Apapa Constituency II in the Assembly, made the appeal when speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that for the nation to move forward, Nigerians’ appetites for foreign goods must stop as well as their quests for materialism.
He said that several controversies had trailed the closure of land borders by the Federal Government.
The lawmaker, who just returned from the 50th Commonwealth Parliament Association’s Conference (African Region), that ended on Sept. 5 in Tanzania also advised Nigeria to emulate Tanzania and Rwanda’s approaches to development.
According to him, countries like Tanzania and Rwanda looked inward and controlled their nationals’ thirsts for foreign and imported goods.
He said both countries had begun to reap the dividends of that policy now.
He also decried the high rates of unemployment, poverty and mortality, not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
The lawmaker called for improved mechanised farming in Nigeria to tackle unemployment, hunger, poverty and move the nation forward.
“We must continue to educate our people and reawaken our social values that are dead for the nation to progress.
“There are a lot of problems in Africa that we must address also.
“We do not need more imported goods than we have had. We should not be material conscious.
“Let us experiment it (border closure) and see the gains and we weigh it. Let us see if it will encourage local production, “Jimoh said.
He, however, admitted that Nigeria’s borders were still porous and smuggling of foreign products was still ongoing through the various entry points into the country.
“The major borders may be closed but smugglers are entering through other routes.
“What will happen is that whatever items that are still being smuggled into the country will be expensive, as we are experiencing now with the prices of rice in the market,” he added.
The lawmaker urged the government to ensure massive local productions of goods people smuggled into the country, saying that remained the way to go for the masses not to suffer.
He said that he bought a bag of rice for N16,000 during the last Eid-el-Kabir, but the price had increased to N22,000 at present.