Nigeria @ 59: Buhari Vows To Stop Food Importation, Smuggling     

Even as the nation’s land borders remain partially closed, President Muhammadu Buhari has reinstated that the government will do everything to stop importation of food items into the country.

While delivering his speech yesterday to mark the 59th celebration of Nigeria’s independence, President Buhari said the journey to food security and self-sufficiency is underway, adding that remarkable progress has been made in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain, from fertilizers to rice, to animal feed production.

According to him, “our journey to food security and self-sufficiency is well underway. We have made remarkable progress in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain, from fertilizers to rice, to animal feed production. We shall sustain these policies to ensure additional investments are channeled, thereby creating more jobs in the sector. We must not go back to the days of importing food and thereby exporting jobs.”

Buhari also vowed to fight smuggling, trans-shipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in the country.

“We will also continue our fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, including the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts. Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country.

He added that the recently-constituted Economic Advisory Council will advise him on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies. That will ensure that the country remains on track for collective prosperity.

“However, we are also committed to ensure that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, which are most at risk, do not bear the brunt”, he assured.   

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