President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders is not a punitive measure against her neighbours, but rather to strengthen the country’s security and economy.
Buhari made this statement in a meeting with the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom, where he is for the UK-Africa Investment Summit. He said the closure period will be used to take stock of threats to the nation’s security and economy.
The president pointed out that dividends are already coming in as there has been a sharp drop in smuggled agricultural produce and weapons.
According to Buhari, Nigeria’s food security can be attributed to the “very good last three rainy seasons”, the federal government’s 50 percent fertilizer price slash, and the presidential directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to give foreign exchange for food imports thereby saving the nations billions of naira.
He boasted of how his achievements as president have encouraged Nigeria’s “huge, vibrant youth population” to go back to the farms and live “decent and respectable lifestyles”.
President Buhari commended Nigerians in the diaspora for their huge home remittances, which amounted to over $25 billion in 2018.
He praised the various individual performances exhibited by them in their various fields of expertise.
The President, while commenting on the nation’s security, said “it is common sense that you can only run the country if it is secured” adding that the country “has not done badly in the North East”.
He said his administration is also focused on retrieving stolen assets and fixing the “terrible” havoc corruption hs done to the country’s image and economy. He added that proceeds from the sale of the stolen assets will be put in “the treasury through the Treasury Single Account (TSA)”, so that the convicts won’t have access to them even after his tenure.
President Buhari congratulated the current World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua during the meeting, on regaining his world championship belts, as well as putting Nigeria “on the world map again like Hogan Bassey”.
The boxer thanked the president and presented his belts, pledging to “stand up for Nigeria anytime you need me”.
Various other speakers lauded the President’s commitment to creating a lasting legacy. The meeting with the Nigerian community was coordinated by the chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa.