Ban on rice, vehicles through land border to benefit Nigerians - Ambassador

Ban on rice, vehicles through land border to benefit Nigerians - Ambassador

- Kayode Oguntuase said Nigerians will benefit from the ban on importation of rice

- The ambassador said this will help boost local production

- He said Nigeria cannot continue to remain a dumping ground

The Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Kayode Oguntuase, said the ban on rice and vehicles importation through the land border was for the benefit of Nigerians.

He said this in a statement issued by the Consul, Olanrewaju Badmus, in Badagry, Lagos on Wednesday, April 11.

Oguntuase spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Yashikira, in Kwara State, Alhaji Umar Seriki. He said the ban placed on rice and importation of cars through the land border was to improve local production.

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“We would keep on addressing this matter until people understand the short and long term benefits of this policy that the government has taken in order to improve the economy. Our locally made products have to be encouraged in order to provide employment for people and in order to make this happen, some drastic steps must be taken and this is one of them.

“If Cotonou was making its own cars, then it would be a different case but they also import these things and we wouldn’t allow Nigeria to be a dumping ground for all these products.

“The government has the wellbeing of its citizens at heart and to achieve such goal, some measures must be taken to ensure that," Oguntuase said.

The envoy urged people in the community to desist from smuggling.

“Everyone should engage in legitimate trade and should not be used as a tool to engage in illegal trade as this affects the economy of the country. We must learn to work together with the government and one of the ways of ensuring that is by resisting smuggling and other illicit acts," he said.

The statement said Seriki thanked the envoy for his visit, noting that he was the first Nigerian ambassador to visit the community. He also used the occasion to inform the ambassador that the community lacked basic social amenities.

“For many years, we haven’t had power supply in this community, and there are no health care services so we have to go as far as Cotonou to get such. Also, a liaison office should be established in the community so that the people around can easily get access to travel and other relevant documents," he said.

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Menwhile, tension was triggered in Daddara village, in the Jibia local government area of Katsina state after some officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), federal operations unit, allegedly shot dead a man in front of his father’s shop. The victim was identified as Amiru Abdulaziz.

The Punch reported that the customs officials had intercepted some men who packed bags of suspected smuggled rice in a vehicle.

After seizing the rice and the vehicle, officials allegedly opened gunfire to suppress any possible retaliation from the smugglers. Abdulaziz was reportedly hit by a stray bullet in the process.

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