President Muhammadu Buhari
The Action Democratic Party (ADP) governorship candidate in Lagos State, Babatunde Gbadamosi, says the continued closure of land borders by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government would undermine the country’s economy.
The business mogul gave the warning on Wednesday in Lagos, while speaking with journalists.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 1 approved the extension of the operation code-named Exercise Swift Response.
But Gbadamosi said the closure was having adverse effects on the citizens both in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
”It is clear that the agenda behind it is completely not for economic growth, because it will affect the earning capacity of people. If that happens, many people will not be able to meet their needs”, NAN quoted him as saying.
“Consequently, many sectors of the nation’s economy will be affected within and in the neighbouring countries that have built large doses of subscriptions on us.
”The closure will more or less affect the economy, instead of improving it. Government needs to open the economy in such a way to attract more trade and industries.”
Gbadamosi said that there were so many ways borders could be closed to check arms smuggling and crimes like banditry without total closure.
He urged Nigeria to take a cue from the developed countries with tight border controls without total lock down.
“If the government is acting against smuggling with the closure, there are ways of doing it without affecting our people.
“During the era of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, borders were shut for a period of time because of cross border bandits who ran to Benin Republic.
”But between a few days, they were arrested and handed over to the authorities and the borders were reopened.
“Smuggling is still going on during that period, but it did not affect our economy, because it was well checked.
”In fact that was the period we experienced the greatest rate of sustainable growth, because the country allowed trade to continue and the custom officials were also doing their jobs effectively,” Gbadamosi said.