Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State agree that the closure of the border is part of measures to preserve Nigeria’s foreign policy.
They revealed it during the launch of the maiden Foreign Policy Journal by the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN).
They added that Buhari’s decision was to prevent neighboring nations from violating the ECOWAS Protocol because Nigeria was quickly becoming a dumping ground.
Sanusi said, “Last time, I was critical of Nigeria’s refusal to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and recently I have been in supportive of the decision to close the border which now looks like two contradictory positions but they are not.
“The understanding that you have a free trade zone must come with the understanding that everybody must play by the rules. If the rules don’t work, free trade does not work.
“Nigeria is 70 per cent of the population of West Africa and If we have an industrial policy that is aimed at protecting the productive sector of Nigeria it is a fair competition.
“We cannot allow our neighbours to open their doors to this unfair competition and through the back door undermine our industry.
“It is not about smuggling petroleum or rice but in 2017, the Republic of Benin was the world’s second-largest importer of Tramadol to the United States.
“All those drugs came into Northern Nigeria and now we hear that there are also arms coming in. “So closing the borders, I hope is not a permanent solution but what I hope is that is an opportunity to sit down and agree on rules and then open up the borders.
“It is extremely important to have a Foreign Policy that is ready to take very firm decision to protect the national interest against dangerous trade activities.”
Fayemi added, “You cannot say because we have signed up to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement you then violate the principle of free trade by dumping in our country.
“Those that think of the actions of Mr President as wrong are definitely misguided.”
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