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I Wholeheartedly Support Borders’ Closure — Emir Sanusi


The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has expressed satisfaction with
the decision of the federal government to close the land borders with
the neighbouring countries, describing it as the only way through which
Nigeria’s anti-smuggling laws could be enforced. He stated this in Kano
on Wednesday while briefing the press in his palace on the sideline of
recent appointments into the National Economic Advisory Council by
President Muhammadu Buhari.

He blamed the country’s porous land
borders for high incidences of tax evasion, which according to him have
been turned into escape routes from excise duties and tariffs as well as
viable channels for diversion of petroleum products from the
country.The monarch emphasized that closing the borders remains the only
option for the country to resuscitate its agricultural sector and
develop its economy. He said: “If you remember when the president came
to Kano on official visit, I actually talk about closing the borders
with the Republic of Benin.

I always felt that if you really want
to enforce laws that you have against smuggling, you need to close
borders. “You have petroleum products moving basically across the
borders from Nigeria to neighbouring countries because of our fuel
subsidies. You have goods coming in across the border using the port in
Cotonou to avoid tax revenues in Lagos; so what happens is we don’t get
the revenue from duties and tariffs and then we end up having the goods
coming in anyway. “Closing the borders becomes indispensable because our
neighbouring countries are not helping us to protect our economy. For
instance, if you want to protect rice farmers, you have to impose heavy
taxation on importation of foreign rice into the country.

“Therefore,
any country that allows smuggling of rice into Nigeria through its
borders is doing that at the expense of our farmers who could not
withstand competition with foreign producers. Besides rice and other
food items, you must also understand that all the illicit drugs get into
this country through the land borders. “So sometimes it is important to
take these difficult decisions so that we get the cooperation and
collaboration of Customs officials across the borders. It is something
that I wholeheartedly support. I think it is temporary and I think it
will lead to improvement,” the monarch emphasised.

Commenting
about the new economic advisory council, the Emir commended the
president for choosing competent hands to serve in his economic advisory
team, describing the team as first class group of professionals. “If
you look at the kind of system we operate, if you look at the United
States, every US president always has a council of economic advisers,
and one of the reasons you have that council is you could want
independent academics who are able to give you frank and honest advice
on how to run the economy and address its problems.

“What the
president has done is to follow that pattern to appoint a team of highly
respected professionals to advice him and this time we have economic
problems when we have fiscal issues when the global economy is facing
some crisis; it is extremely important that the president has high
quality advice so this is to me one of the best things the government
has done for the country and this team is first class team,” he added.

Source:- Dailytrustng

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Last Updated: September 19, 2019

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