The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has turned down the request by the Vietnamese government to import rice into Nigeria.
Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister, Vuong Dinb Hue, who led a delegation, made the request yesterday in Abuja when he met with Oshiomhole in his office.
The APC chairman, however, said that Vietnamese farmers can come to the country and invest in rice production, noting that Nigeria cannot continue to rely on imported rice.
Oshiomhole stressed that Nigerians should unanimously back the decision of the government to close the borders until her neighbours decide to respect the laws of fair and free trade.
The APC chairman insisted that Nigeria cannot be a dumping ground for imported foods, imported rice and other smuggled chemicals and drugs.
Oshiomohle added that this was one policy that cut across party divides, across primordial sentiments, adding that the people should salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari in closing the borders because for too long, Nigeria had been a big brother to her neighbours.
He said, “Now that big brother is hurting us and hurting us very badly, we must secure ourselves as they say when you board an aircraft that if oxygen fails and they drop the mask, help yourself before helping others.
“This is the moment. We must keep those borders shut. If we do so for two, three years, it doesn’t matter; so, that, our neighbours will learn to respect the rules of international engagement and the rules of trade.
“What has happened is that, people relocate out of Nigeria, target Nigerian market and use our neighbours to compromise our own trade policies. So, I think the media should understand what is at stake.”
Earlier, the Deputy Prime Minister had urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to open its borders and allow it to be importing rice at discounted prices.