A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Bisi Yusuf, says the closure of land borders will end the menace of turning Nigeria to a dumping ground of all kinds of fake and expired products.
Yusuf, APC representing Alimosho Constituency 1, made the assertion on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, this is the best thing that can happen to the country now.
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“The closure of the nation’s land border will curb the menace of turning the country into a dumping ground.
“We go as far as importing tomatoes, toothpicks and other items God has blessed us with, we import them to the country.
“Not only grains and domestics products are being smuggled to the country, but also weapons and dangerous items due to the porosity of our land borders.
“We are importing it to the country and it’s not coming directly to our ports.
“If those goods should really be coming directly to our ports, we can tax and collect our money, but not smuggling from the neighbouring countries,” he said.
The lawmaker added that some criminal-minded people also took advantages of the porous borders to smuggle weapons into the country, thereby posing a security challenge to the government.
“We normally shout that our borders are porous; when you get to the United States or Canada or anywhere in the world, there is nothing like illegal smuggling of arms.
“We are not closing the borders against the foreigners, they can come in, but all we are saying is that we are not allowing any illegal goods to enter our country again.
“No country will allow that. So, that is what we have been saying about it and it is good.
“We have farmers in this country, the big-time farmers that can plant and produce rice for our local consumption,” he added.
Yusuf also said that the borders’ closure would allow and create big markets for the local rice.
“The demand is now increasing at the market, people are buying it and we are eating it,” he said.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had extended the closure of Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring countries until Jan. 31.
Land borders with countries including Benin and Niger have been partially closed since Aug. 20 in a move to curb the smuggling of rice and other commodities.