‘Why we closed borders’
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday briefed British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on major developments in Nigeria, especially the gains in different sectors of the economy and polity.
The two leaders met at the United Kingdom (UK)-Africa Investment Summit 2020, in London where President Buhari told Johnson of accomplishments in agriculture, leading to near self-sufficiency in rice and other grains, a development he said, has saved the country billions in foreign exchange, now being deployed to other areas of development nationwide.
On the war against terrorism, the President said things were getting better, as people’s minds have been disabused on the true thinking of Boko Haram and the challenge of resettling displaced persons, which is being tackled frontally.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement explained that Buhari also said the country was focused and making progress on education, particularly of the girl child.
Responding, Johnson commended President Buhari for being a regional leader who encourages the West, congratulated him on the jobs being created through agriculture, urging him to do more.
He equally applauded Buhari for what he described as the “socio-economic benefits” in the country since he became President and that he would assist the country on the war against corruption through the National Crime Agency.
The British PM pledged to cooperate with Nigeria and other African countries in the inter-basin water transfer, which could solve the Lake Chad problem and enhance security within the sub-region.
Johnson also lauded the idea of the Commonwealth Free Trade Area (CFTA) being advocated by President Buhari and pledged a careful consideration.
He charged the Nigerian leader to keep the national autonomy of his country intact, noting that in the future, Nigeria would not just be a continental power, but a global force.
Meanwhile, the President explained that his government ordered closure of its land borders to check the influx of arms and ammunition, as well as hard drugs into the country.
He said the borders would remain partially closed until the final report of a committee set up on the matter was submitted and reviewed.
In a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Buhari said he could not watch Nigerian youths being destroyed through cheap hard drugs and compromised security occasioned by influx of small arms.
“When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs and small arms, under the food products. This has had terrible consequences for our country,” he added.