President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he plans to curb smuggling activities through Nigeria’s borders in a bid to rekindle the agriculture sector.
President Buhari told a delegation of Katsina State Elders Forum who paid him a visit at his country home in Daura, that the new directive will save the country billions of naira on import bills.
A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, added that just like the successes recorded from the border drill on rice and petroleum products, the interest of farmers must be protected.
He told the delegation that he intends forging ahead with poverty alleviation schemes and the agricultural and livestock reforms which his administration started during the first term.
”Farmers must be protected. Dishonesty is deep-rooted in the country. Otherwise, the border closer would not have been warranted,” he said.
President Buhari commended the actions taken by the President of Niger Republic, Muhammadou Youssoufou, including the dismissal of officials and a ban on use of the country as a dumping ground for Nigeria-bound smuggled goods, adding that the measures taken by the President of Niger were helpful and supportive.
He 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.
Earlier in his remark, the representative of the Chairman of the Elders Forum, Alhaji Aliyu Saulawa, drew a long list of requests which included a special intervention fund to assist victims of attacks, completion of the 10 megawatts wind power project in the state, setting up of a North-West Development Commission and setting up of Ruga farm settlements, which he said were urgently needed.
President Buhari promised to look at the requests, adding that his constituency is the whole country, and he is determined to be fair to all.