Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Adamu Abdullahi, has said that any Nigerian not willing to eat local rice in the face of continued closure of the country’s borders with neighbouring nations, had the problem to deal with.
According to Abdullahi, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for not bowing to pressure to open Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring countries, those clamouring for its reopening were smugglers and all those profiting from the bastardisation of the economy.
He said, “Our neighbouring countries have become gateways and transit routes 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 in support of this policy for border closure.
“We have a duty to protect our own, if you don’t want to eat Nigerian grown rice, that’s your own problem.”
President Buhari had on August 20, 2019 ordered a partial closure of Nigeria’s land border.
He hinged his decision on the massive smuggling activities, especially rice brought into the country.
According to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd), the agency generated a daily revenue of around N5.8bn since the closure of the country’s land borders aimed at curbing the activities of smugglers.