A ChieftainPeoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to extend the border closure to restriction of movement of livestock and refined petroleum products from other countries to Nigeria.
He said if this is done it will encourage Nigeria live stock rearers and refineries to produce more and as well conserve the nation foreign exchange.
Onuesoke, while commending the President Muhammadu Buhari ‘s government over the closure of land border with neighbouring countries, however pointed that the action and benefit expected from it will not be completed if livesstocks like cattle, sheep, goats and finished petroleum products among others are allowed to be moved into the country.
The PDP Chieftain who gave the advise while speaking on the sideline during NewsExpress 7th Annual Lecture held at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja Lagos disclosed that it is disappointing that while the Nigerian customs have been vociferous and active about seizure of rice, poultry products and other goods, it has had not made mention of intercepted of cattle, sheep or goat that are moved across the border by nomadic.
“It has been on record that cattle are moved from Chad, Niger and Mali into Nigeria territories by herdsmen either in search of green grass or for sale to Nigerian consumers. But it is unfortunate that since the border closure nothing has been said about the movement of these livestock. Does it mean that they are exempted from the border closure policy?
“Nigeria will want to hear that hundred of cows that are being imported into the country are intercepted by the Customs. Rather we hear of only rice, chickens, turkey or fairly used clothes. The Customs should allow the policy to affect all products. What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well,” Onuesoke stated.
He alleged that there are on going rumours that despite the border closure foreign rice are still being imported into Nigeria through the Northern part of the country.
“There is a video trending online of vehicles load of rice allegedly being excorted into Nigeria to the Northern part of the country by security men. Beside, Nigeria Tribune recently reported that despite the ban of rice two months ago, foreign rice still flood Sokoto markets. The security of Customs should investigate these allegations and if it is true, they should try as much as possible to block these loop holes. They should not make Nigerians feel that the border closure is made for only one side of the nation,” he disclosed.
Onuesoke who said finished petroleum products should be banned from entry the country advised Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)should fix the refineries to the extent of producing all of the nation’s petroleum needs.
“ If this is not possible, NNPC should be closed down and let’s focus on imported products. NNPC should be given ultimatum of three months to fix our refineries to make sure we stop the importation of finished products,” he stated.