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Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Border closure an eye-opener, says Buhari

Border closure an eye-opener, says Buhari

After listing its gains, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday described the partial closure of Nigeria’s land borders as an eye-opener to its potentials.

According to him, the measure has saved the country millions of dollars, curtailed importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms and importation of food items, especially rice.

President Buhari at the State House in Abuja.spoke during an audience with the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and his successor, Dr. George Nana Donkor.

In a statement by Mallam Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, the President said the decision to close the borders has given Nigeria some insights.

Nigeria’s West African neighbours have been pleading with the Federal Government for a reassessment of the decision, a situation that led to the constitution of a tripartite committee.

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In the committee to review and harmonise interests in the border closure are: Nigeria, Benin Republic and Niger Republic.

President Buhari, however, promised that Nigeria will be ready to abide by the decision of the committee after receiving its report.

He said: “We have saved millions of dollars. We have realised that we don’t have to import rice. We have achieved food security.

‘‘We have curtailed the importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms which threaten our country.”

The President thanked the outgoing ECOWAS Bank President for the improvements recorded in his eight-year tenure and urged his successor to build on those achievements.

The outgoing bank chief told the President that the bank had been transformed from loss-making to profit, with commitments from ECOWAS member-states doubling to 1.4 billion dollars.

Donkor, the incoming president, thanked the Nigerian leader and its people for their support in his emergence.

‘‘Without Nigeria, I could not have emerged,’’ he said, giving credit to President Buhari’s economic strategies as captured under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Noting that it has brought about economic recovery, stability and food security in the country, the bank chief pledged total commitment to partnering with Nigeria towards achieving rapid development in the country and the rest of West Africa.

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