The Secretary General of the Merchant Seafarers Association of Nigeria (MESAN) MESAN, Captain Alfred Oluwasegun Oniye, has advised the Chief of Army staff to work hard to eradicate the menace of the terrorists who have been disturbing the peace of the country. He also advised the Federal government to reopen the remaining Southwest borders.
He said the security situation in the country can be curtailed if professionals are allowed to handle situation.
On the Nigeria Borders with the neighbouring countries shutting the border will not solve the problems in the country.
He said the intention of the president in shutting the borders was to encourage that Nigerians embrace farming.
Oniye said we should be self-sustain in local manufacturing before we can talk of closing our border. “How do I explained this to the world that we are importing toothpaste, Gari, Palm Oil?
“We can produce some of the things we are importing. What we should be talking about now is solving the insecurity in the country so that our farmers can go back to farming and start cultivation not closing or opening our border for food to come in because it will not solve our problems but solving the insecurity problems.
“But the insecurity issues of this country should be solved so that our farmers can return to farm and cultivate, that will solve the problem. It is normal for any country that want to develop to shut her border to reduce the importation of goods, we import over 90% of goods we are consuming.
That will not make us grow, imagine us importing broom, tin tomatoes and fish in a maritime country like ours, if the president shut the border it is to tell us that we should go back and start production, from their we would create job for the unemployed, we would produce enough food, but we must solve the insecurity problem first.
He said the Nigeria border in South West is closed while that of the North remain open. I am only bothered about my own border that is shut because I am South West. If you shut my border you are automatically asking me to go into farming and start producing what I will eat and sell to my people. I should not be importing what I can produce here, that is my own concerned.
“How can we be importing rice when we can produce rice here? Is Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, too small to have rice factory. Opening the border will not solve the problem, when you bring in what we can produce here, you are bringing in unemployment but if you produce what you can bring in, you are creating employment when you bring in what we can manufactured here, you are bringing in poverty.