Senior Advocate of Nigeria and founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Afe Babalola, SAN, has thrown his weight behind Federal Government’s decision to close Nigeria’s land borders.
Speaking on Sunday, in Ado-Ekiti, at the closing ceremony of the International Fund for Agricultural Development project training for youths in Oyo and Ekiti states under the Youth Employment in Agri-business and Sustainable Agriculture, Babalola opined that closing the borders in some parts of the country was in the best security and economic interests of the country.
He therefore solicited support for the policy, insisting it had made a lot of Nigerians to return to agriculture with the attendant remarkable improvement in local production in addition.
Also, he said the policy had helped in checkmating the influx of illicit arms and ammunition which had aided insecurity in the country.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the border closure, which he described as “a right step in the right direction to tackle persistent smuggling which has crippled the country’s economy.”
“Border closure has continued to yield positive results in improving food production and invariably impacting on the country’s economy.
It is imperative that we continue to support the Federal Government on border closure and endure its attendant effect to ensure that Nigeria regains its lost glory in that all-import realm and in the best economic and security interests of the country.
“The closure of the borders is helpful to the farmers. I see farming as the mainstay of this country. We just have to maintain it. And the only way is to close the borders.
“Nigerians may not understand this now, may be because of the little pains it has brought; but I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel as the positive and long-term effects that will soon follow will make Nigerians happy,” Babalola said.
He therefore, called on Nigerians and governments to invest in agriculture to attain food sufficiency, industrialisation, improved foreign exchange earnings and employment generation.
Furthermore, the Senior Advocate advised that farmers be given unfettered access to credit facilities, modern implements, improved seed varieties and fertilizer adding that this would attract youth to farming.