The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has given the reason why Nigeria’s borders will stay closed while saying ” there is no gain without pain”
Lai Mohammed made the statement on Monday when he paid a working visit to the new corporate headquarters of The Sun Newspaper in Lagos, where he said Nigerians must endure the temporary effects of the border closure to reap the attendant benefits.
The minister stated this on
Fielding questions from the editorial board, the minister reiterated government position that the borders’ closure was not indefinite and was as a result of the failure of the neighbouring countries to fulfil their obligations.
“What has happened is that there is an agreement among the ECOWAS member states that goods coming into Nigeria must be containerized and taken through the border where they can be assessed and attested that they are not smuggled items.
“However, this agreement has not been adhered to by our neighbours
“We know that the closure is inflicting some collateral damages to many people but in the overall interest of Nigerians, we need to persevere and bear with the government so that our neighbours would be responsible and responsive.
“You can not turn Nigeria to a dumping ground of harmful goods just because we are neighbours and share common borders.
“For instance, the largest volume of the parboiled rice that come into Nigeria is smuggled through the borders.
“Nobody is paying any duty on the goods and they are disincentive to local industry,” he said.