Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, says he supports the Federal Government’s decision to close the land borders because of the need to protect rice farmers.
Addressing journalists in Kano on Wednesday, Sanusi said the closure is the only method of enforcing Nigeria’s anti-smuggling laws.
“Closing the borders becomes indispensable because our neighbouring countries are not helping us to protect our economy. For instance, if you want to protect rice farmers, you have to impose heavy taxation on the importation of foreign rice into the country.
“Therefore, any country that allows smuggling of rice into Nigeria through its borders is doing that at the expense of our farmers who could not withstand competition with foreign producers. Besides rice and other food items, you must also understand that all the illicit drugs get into this country through the land borders.
“So sometimes it is important to take these difficult decisions so that we get the cooperation and collaboration of Customs officials across the borders. It is something that I wholeheartedly support. I think it is temporary and I think it will lead to improvement,” the monarch, who is a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said.
The Federal Government had closed its borders since August 20 with President Muhammadu Buhari saying the move was to check smuggling.
Sanusi described the new Economic Advisory Council recently constituted by President Buhari as “one of the best things the government has done for the country”.
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