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South East traders renew call on Buhari for partial border closure


Buhari. Photo: BORNOGOVT

• Experts say policy will benefit local farmers, curb illegal arms import
• Ugwuanyi hands over 65 patrol vehicles to police

South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) yesterday renewed its appeal on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow only legitimate goods from Nigerian markets to leave the country.

Reacting to the closure of borders in an open letter to Buhari signed by its president-general, Chief Gozie Akudolu, and secretary-general, Alex Okwudili, SEAMATA noted imminent hardship already staring Nigerians in the face by the development.The letter stated, “Trading activities have totally collapsed in the country, as customers from neighbouring countries no longer come because those that came still have their legitimate goods lying at the borders.

“The prices of local food items had sky-rocketed beyond the reach of the average citizens.”However, an agriculture expert, Mr. Ismail Olawale, has called on farmers to seize the opportunity of the border closure to build capacity for local production.Olawale, a fellow at the Nigerian Agriculture and Extension Liaison Service (NAERLS), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

The expert said his agency was working extra time to keep local farmers abreast of the opportunities in the agriculture sector following the border closure.Also, an economist, Prof. AbdulGafar ljaya, said that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders would stimulate the economy and curb illegal importation of firearms.

Ijaya of the Department of Economics, University of llorin, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in llorin yesterday.Economic activities in all parts of the country has received a boost as most people now patronise made-in-Nigeria products since the closure of the land borders, he added.

Meanwhile, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi yesterday handed over 65 patrol vans to the state command of the police to aid its operations. The patrol vans were among the 100 Innoson vehicles recently purchased by the state government to assist the security agencies to effectively discharge their duties of enhancing peace, security and development in the state.Ugwuanyi, who had earlier unveiled the vehicles to journalists at the Government House, Enugu, explained that the vans would be handed over to Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, among others.


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