By Kazeem Akande
Lagos – The Action Democratic Party (ADP) Governorship Candidate in Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, says continued closure of land borders by the Federal Government would undermine the country’s economy.
Gbadamosi made the assertion on Wednesday in Lagos, while speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the ”Lagos State University/Salem Touch Awards”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gbadamosi bagged the ”Creative Exponent Award” at the programme in recognition of his support for youths in the state.
He said the closure of land borders would have adverse effects on the citizens both in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
According to him, the continued closure of land borders will have negative effect on the citizens, even both here and in the neighbouring countries.
”It is clear that the agenda behind it is completely not for economic growth, because it will affect the earning capacity of people, and if that happens, many people will not be able to meet their needs.
“Consequently, many sectors of the nation’s economy will be affected within and in the neighbouring countries that have built large doses of subscriptions on us.
”The closure will more or less affect the economy, instead of improving it,” Gbadamosi said.
According to him, government needs to open the economy in such a way to attract more trade and industries.
He said that refusal of the government to encourage and open up the economy would hamper the progress of the country.
Gbadamosi said that there were so many ways borders could be closed to check arms smuggling and crimes like banditry without total closure.
He urged Nigeria to take a cue from the developed countries with tight border controls without total lock down.
“If the government is acting against smuggling with the closure, there are ways of doing it without affecting our people.
“During the era of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, borders were shut for a period of time because of cross border bandits who ran to Benin Republic.
”But between a few days, they were arrested and handed over to the authorities and the borders were reopened.
“Smuggling is still going on during that period, but it did not affect our economy, because it was well checked .
”In fact that was the period we experienced the greatest rate of sustainable growth, because the country allowed trade to continue and the custom officials were also doing their jobs effectively,” he said.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, has extended the closure of Nigeria’s border with neighboring countries to Jan. 31, 2020.
Land borders with countries including Benin and Niger were closed since Aug. 20 in a move to curb smuggling.