The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development has commended the Federal Government’s resolute resolve on the closure of its national borders, despite pressures mounted by neighbouring countries to reopen them. Adegbite noted that the decision had become necessary due to the nefarious activities of smugglers at the borders, which was affecting the economy negatively. He disclosed that the nation had begun to reap the benefit of the decision. The minister revealed that the closure of the borders had helped to curtail the smuggling of illegally mined gem stone minerals from the country.
‘’We are aware of several instances in which illegally mined gold and other precious gemstones are smuggled through our land borders to neighbouring countries, where they are flown on private jets to countries in Asia and the Middle East and sold at their market value. The country is being deprived of the actual royalties that should necessarily accrue to it due to these nefarious activities. No government can sit still and watch as revenues that should accrue to it legally are being lost to agents outside the countries who do not wish us well. Hence, I support President Buhari’s decision to keep the border’s locked until we can sit down and reach a sensible accord with our neighbouring countries that would be beneficial to all.’’
The minister added. ‘In the long run this decision would be beneficial to the economy, as it would lead to more revenue generation for the government which can then be channelled to build more roads and hospitals. And of course, it would also encourage rice production in the country.’’