Former Vice President Namadi Sambo has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the border closure, describing it as one of the most impactful policies of the administration.
Sambo said this at the annual conference and award ceremony of the Leadership conference organised by Leadership Newspaper on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the border closure policy was aimed at curbing the challenges of smuggling of firearms and drugs, human trafficking, trans-border insurgency among others.
The former VP said the infraction of the border opening had threatened the peace, stability and economy of Nigeria as a nation.
He said barely seven months since the closure of our border, today’s event remains one of the most significant organised by the media to appraise the economics behind the policy.
Sambo said media played a central role in setting and shaping public agenda, the individual, issues, events and topics that were seen as vital to society and public interest.
He said that those serving the nation should realise that the newspaper was watching to identify those making the sacrifice that could be emulated by young Nigerians.
Sambo said if the country had continued to import some goods, it would have spent millions of dollars, stressing that companies were becoming competitive, especially fertilizer companies.
The Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, who was the Guest Speaker, said it was necessary for the country to have economic structure.
He said that to do this, the country must address its trade performance, border security; and those things that improve trade facilitation across the country.
He said if that was not done the economy could not be sustained.
“Granting that one of the intended consequences is price inflation, the short term consequence of this is inflation and the long term consequence is that our farmers and industries become more competitive.
“And this will ensure that the country will be free from dumping ground. We can see the improvement the border closure has brought for the county,” he said.
He said it had reduced importation, especially in the area of fertiliser, adding that it had brought employment and revived some companies.
Newsmen report that some of the personalities that were given awards are Femi Otedola, a business mogul, as Leadership Person of the Year, Akinwumi Adesina, as Banker of the year 2019
Some state governors were also awarded as governors of the year 2019. They include Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Ben Ayade of Cross River, Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.
Others awarded are Ishaq Oloyede, JAMB Registrar; Julie Okah-Donli, NAPTIP DG; Timipre Sylva, State Minister of Petroleum; and Suleiman Bogoro, TETFUND Executive Secretary.