President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders is not meant to punish her neighbours, but to strengthen the country’s security and economy.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari told a select group of the Nigerian Community in the United Kingdom that the period of closure will be used for stock-taking on threats to the nation’s security and economy.
He noted that Nigerian farmers have been celebrating the closure which has drastically reduced the smuggling of agricultural produce as well as arms and ammunition.
President Buhari attributed the country’s virtual food security position to the “very good last three rainy seasons;” the federal government’s reduction in the price of fertilizers by 50 percent and the presidential directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to give foreign exchange for food imports thereby saving the nations billions of naira.
Commending Nigerians in the Diaspora for their huge home remittances – more than $25 billion in 2018 – the President also lauded their individual performances in their various fields of expertise.
Explaining the achievements of his administration in implementing its three-point campaign agenda by focusing on fixing the economy, providing security and tackling corruption, the President said Nigeria’s “huge, vibrant youth population” have been encouraged to go back to the farms and are “living decent and respectable lifestyles.”
On security, he said “it is common sense that you can only run the country if it is secured,” adding that the country “has not done badly in the North East.”
Describing the havoc done by corruption to the image and economy of Nigeria as “terrible,” President Buhari said that his administration has now focused on retrieving stolen fixed assets and returning the proceeds of the sale “to the treasury through the Treasury Single Account (TSA),” so that nobody can return them back to the convicts even after his tenure.