The All Progressives Congress (APC) Tuesday rejects Vietnam subsidized rice importation to Nigeria while insisted that Nigeria’s borders be remained closed.
Adams Oshiomhole who is the National Chairman of the party, stated this while receiving a delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Vuong Hue, in Abuja. The Comrade rather offered the Vietnam delegates an opportunity for participation in rice farming in Nigeria for the sake of food security.
Oshiomhole said, “If government allows importation of food, our youths will become idle, that will lead to unemployment. We want to promote food security.
“Rather than importing rice from Vietnam, your (Vietnam) farmers can take advantage of our arable land. We have to do that not only to protect farmers but to tackle food security.”
APC National Chairman further stressed that the policy of border closure should be supported by all Nigerians and should not allow the country to be used as a dumping ground for imported rice and other smuggled chemicals and drugs..
He said, “Nigerians should unanimously back the decision of the Federal Government to close the borders until our neighbours decide to respect the laws of fair and free trade.
“Nigeria must not and cannot be a dumping ground for imported foods, imported rice and other smuggled chemicals and drugs.
“I think this is one policy that across party divides, across primordial sentiments, people should salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari in shutting the borders because for too long, we have been a big brother to our neighbours. Now, that big brother is hurting us and hurting us very badly, we must secure ourselves as they say when you board aircraft that if oxygen fails and they drop the mask, help yourself before helping others.
“This is the moment. We must keep those borders shut. If we do so for two or three years, it doesn’t matter; so that our neighbours will learn to respect the rules of international engagement and the rules of trade.”
Oshiomhole continued; “What has happened is that, people relocate from Nigeria, target Nigerian market and use our neighbours to compromise our own trade policies. So, I think the media should understand what is at stake.
“We cannot continue to rely on imported rice. That was why I told the DPM, when he talked about allowing Vietnamese rice to come to Nigeria. I said No, we are not going to do that; we will not do that.
“On the contrary, we are prohibiting the importation of rice, we don’t need imported rice.”