President Muhammadu Buhari has explained that he approved the closure of Nigeria borders with its neighbours in 2019 to prevent Nigerian rice smugglers and their collaborators in other countries including Niger from making Nigeria a dumping ground for smuggled rice. “So, closing that border of 1,600km, more than. Nigerians insist that they have to impress their neighbours and other people that they eat foreign rice. I said no rice. Rather, you eat what you grow and grow what you eat or you die,” the president said yesterday. He stated this on Tuesday at the inauguration of a new Customs Headquarters, built at the cost of N19.6 billion, in Abuja.
“I deliberately close the borders. I said it is either you eat what you grow or you grow what you eat and later Nigerians appreciated it,” he said.
The President also said that the new Customs Act which he recently signed into law will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of customs administration, stressing that it is a testament to his administration’s commitment to fostering a business –friendly environment, attracting investments and driving economic growth.
President Buhari also disclosed that he deliberately appointed women to be ministers of finance in his 8 years in office to ward off disturbances from people looking for award of contracts and payment of contract sums.
The president said he knew very well that most men would not suppress their pride to go to a woman as minister of finance to look for contracts or get payment for jobs done because of ego and arrogance.
On corruption, the President said he had nothing to hide, adding that, “Those who are following Nigerian leaders to condemn them for misappropriation and misbehaviour will have a problem with me.”