- President Buhari has made a fresh statement over closure of Nigerian land borders
- The federal government had in August closed the border over illegal smuggling of goods into the country
- Buhari, however, said that he would not order reopening until the situation improves
Despite calls for the reopening of land borders, President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration has not decided on the time when the ban would be lifted.
Leadership reports that the president noted that his administration is using the opportunity to rekindle the agriculture sector.
Legit.ng gathered that he said he had not given any date for the reopening of the land border until the situation improves.
A statement by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that the government’s directive would save the country billions of naira on import bills.
Receiving a delegation of Katsina state elders forum at his country home in Daura, the president said the country’s domestic fuel consumption had dropped by more than 30 per cent, following the closure of land borders.
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The president commended the actions taken by the president of Niger Republic, Muhammadou Youssoufou, including the dismissal of officials and a ban on the use of the country as a dumping ground for Nigeria-bound smuggled goods.
President Buhari noted that the measures taken by the president of Niger were helpful and supportive.
President Buhari acknowledged the hardship of border communities following the ban on sale of fuel at stations 20 kilometres to the border, a restriction that also saw to the closure of all fuel stations in his native home, Daura.
”Farmers must be protected. Dishonesty is deep rooted in the country. Otherwise the border closer would not have been warranted,” he said.
According to him, the restriction was a temporary measure as the Nigerian Customs Service needed to ascertain outlets involved in real sale of products and those being used for smuggling.
President Buhari told the delegation that he intended to forge ahead with poverty alleviation schemes and the agricultural and livestock reforms started by the administration in the first term, since the election was behind him and a government now in place.
He explained that the reforms, especially those relating to the settlement of livestock herders would take time to accomplish, assuring that his deliberate choice of tested farmers as his past and current ministers of agriculture was informed by the need to carry his vision through.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that minister of special duties and intergovernmental affairs, Senator George Akume, on Thursday, November 28, in Lagos appraised policies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
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