A Cleric, Christopher Qwolabi, on Friday, advised Nigerians, especially youths, to utilise the advantages of the nation’s border closure to be self-productive and reliant.
Owolabi, the General Overseer, Christ Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke Irapada, Omu-Aran, gave the advice during the church’s special service tagged: “Toward a Prosperous 2020 and Beyond”, in Omu-Aran, Kwara.
He said the closing of the nation’s borders to curb banditry, insurgency, incessant dumping of contraband, fake and contaminated drugs, was long overdue.
According to him, the border closure no doubt has started yielding fruitful results and very glaring for the citizens to see.
“There are many things that are being imported that can be produced in large quantity locally.
“It’s an insult on our integrity and intelligence to continue to import toothpicks, food items, furniture products with our array of expertise and intellectual capacity.
“Production of local rice has increased and the commodity has flooded major markets across the length and breadth of the country.
“Patronage of other locally-produced items like beans, cassava, semovita, poultry products have also soared following the closure of the borders.
“It’s high time Nigerians, particularly the youth, utilise this positive development to engage in different aspects of agriculture for their own benefit and advantage.
“With the present high rate of unemployment and non-availability of white-collar jobs, the closure of borders is, therefore, a veritable alternative for the youth to be self-productive,” he said.
Owolabi also urged practitioners of traditional medicine to come together and come up with locally-produced effective and well-packaged therapy for common ailments.
According to him, this will be a good replacement for such therapy being imported from neighbouring African countries.
“Alomo Bitters from Ghana is a good example of such highly -preferred imported stuff being consumed by Nigerians.
“Our practitioners can also come up with such therapy for mass production and local consumption after necessary certification by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“Our neighbours are just taking advantage of our large population and turned the country to a dumping ground for their products.
“Their recent reactions to the border closure have shown that Nigeria is a big market in the continent, especially in the ECOWAS sub-region.
“With the right attitude, conducive environment, most essential needs of the citizens can sufficiently be produced locally,” he said.
Owolabi urged parents, community leaders and religious leaders to always use their parental ability, counselling and preaching to sensitise the youths on the need to be self-productive.