- President Buhari has explained again why he closed all Nigeria's land borders
- The president disclosed that the aim was to grow the nation's agricultural sector
- The Nigerian leader said the country would have been in trouble if not for the wise decision
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President Muhammadu Buhari has given himself a pat on the back for shutting Nigeria's land borders for about one year in a bid to discourage the importation of food.
Speaking in a meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, the president admitted that the country would have been in serious trouble if his administration did not take the initiative of closing the borders, Channels TV reports.
He pointed out that it was this move that fast-tracked massive development in the agricultural sector, adding that at the moment, about seven states in Nigeria produce the volume of rice consumed locally.
President Buhari berated the elite in Nigeria who only see an economic boom in the oil sector and thus abandon the rural areas for quick riches.
The Nigerian leader was referring to the need for all and sundry to focus on agriculture so that, according to him, the nation can cultivate what its citizens eat.
In minutes of the meeting released by a presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, the president was quoted to have said:
“Going back to the land is the way out. We depend on petrol at the expense of agriculture. Now the oil industry is in turmoil. We are being squeezed to produce at 1.5 million barrels a day as against a capacity to produce 2.3 million. At the same time, the technical cost of our production per barrel is high, compared to the Middle East production.
“...We are back to the land now. We must not lose the opportunity to make life easier for our people. Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t encourage agriculture and closed the borders. We would have been in trouble.”
Earlier, President Buhari had ordered four land borders to be immediately opened.
This was disclosed in a tweet by Bashir Ahmad, a personal assistant on new media to the president, Bashir Ahmaad.
Border closure: Nigerians now prefer eba to rice – traders lament | Legit TV