…Say it’ll have adverse effects on Nigerians
From Toluwa Agboluaje, Ibadan
A youth group, Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural Association (YYSA) Worldwide, has vehemently kicked against the total ban of nation’s borders.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan yesterday by its National President, Olalekan Hammed, the group said the action would have adverse effects on Nigerians.
The Federal Government on the occasion of the celebration of the World Food Day yesterday restated that it will not reverse closure of borders until neighbouring countries have shown enough commitment to check smuggling of banned commodities into Nigeria.
According to the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mohammed Umar, the closure was also a response to farmers’ call as a necessary measure to boost food production, especially rice production and other food items
“I assure you this message is noted and the borders have not been opened. There are so many applications from farmers for the ministry to clear land for them for agricultural activities,” Mr Umar said.
But according the youths, “Nigerians who chosen exporting and importing of goods through land borders as means of livelihood will suffer harshly due to the closure.
“Over one million people would be jobless. Already Nigeria has over fifteen million citizens looking for employment.
“The prices of some necessary items that used to be imported into Nigeria have increased making the cost of living of an average Nigerian raises.
“Meanwhile, the amount of money spent on consumption and other things by the civil servants also increased despite the fact that federal government has not been paying minimum wage.
“The present approach adopted by the Nigerian government to curb insecurity and boost local products is horrific.
“The majority of genuine farmers in Southwest and other regions in Southern part of the country have not been benefitting from loans and other programmes put in place by Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure diversification of economy.
“Agricultural sector must be viable enough sufficiently for local consumption before border closure could be done reasonable. If not, inflation will continue unendingly.
“There is need for government to reverse its decision and take other measures to solve problems of insecurity, as well as to ensure food security”, the group pointed out.