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Fantastic Rice Liars and Border Closure

Nigeria has 53 officially recognised land borders and over 150 illegal routes across the country which most citizens don’t know. The nation (Nigeria), is bordered by Niger Republic in the North, and Benin Republic in the

West. Consequently, both countries are notorious smuggling routes, with contraband goods and ammunitions including other inferior and substandard products, smuggled into the country.

The federal government’s decision to shut the land borders recently shows a feeling of perceived annoyance and unfair treatment to the Nigerian poor masses and her sub-regional neighbours with no consideration for a palliative policy induced measures to cushion the economic crunch even with the unrealistic fiscal projections of the huge revenue gains by the country.

Reason for the closure of the borders connecting Nigeria, Niger and Benin  epublic was to ratify Nigeria’s proposed anti-smuggling policy even with the short and long term losses that will be recorded during the period, the exercise will last”. Said, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

In this edition creekvibes analyst Isaac Orika did a thorough research and handed down a fantastic piece that you are reading through at the moment…Enjoy

CBN went on listing gains of the closure such as rice farmers have been able to sell unsold produce which were accumulated due to the illegal importation and smuggling of these items.

* Poultry and maize business is also doing well

* It has created jobs for Nigerians

* The closure will strengthen diversification to other sectors.

* Grow domestic industries, whereby goods will be produced locally, and also lift the nation’s economic GDP.

According to one of the top CBN official; Smuggling has added no value  conomically to stabilize both the micro-macro policy programme of the country. Rather it has negatively affected Nigeria’s economy as smugglers use the neighbouring ports as launch pads for their illicit, nefarious, and illegal activities.

Shutting of the borders in September 2019, by the Federal Government is not even the issue. The questions to ask are;

* What products or goods have we been able to manufacture for export and for international consumption till date?

* The federal government mantra of cutting down smuggling of rice to boost local rice farming is a contradiction of sort because illegal smuggling routes thrive as foreign rice is seen in the markets across Nigeria. So, who is the APC government selling this cheap lies to?

* Where in the world have you seen a country’s border is being either temporarily or completely closed? For what gains?

* The success and gains listed by the CBN, has it a phenomenal impact on Nigerians? In terms of raising the bar by of welfare, the standard of living

of Nigerians who are hungry and bruised by its effect

* Has the border closure stopped Nigeria from borrowing foreign loans?

* Is Nigeria’s foreign and local debt profile not rising despite the border closure?

* Has border closure enhanced research in agriculture, science and technology so far?

* Where are the jobs and the local farmer’s rice with popular brand names, compared to the foreign rice from China, India, Vietnam, and USA etc.

* Is it only rice and poultry produce that are smuggled into Nigeria, through the land borders?

* What about Illegal migrants coming into Nigeria through both the official and unofficial smuggling routes from the African sub-region?

* Has border closure been able to check the high inflation rate leading to general rise in the prices of food items?

* Where are the revenues generated by Customs during the closure so far?

According to King Sunny Ade, ace juju music maestro in one of his hit song, the lyrics speaks to the conscience and consciousness of the Buhari

administration concerning the war to silence rice smugglers by expecting that Nigeria would be on the right track to realize her immense potentials in rice production and export in the future.

In this edition creekvibes analyst Isaac Orika did a thorough research and handed down a fantastic piece that you are reading through at the moment…Enjoy

“What is in the bush terrifying us? If it will kill, let it come out to kill. If it is not going to kill let it stop terrifying us with an empty threat”

Since 2016, the federal government intended and wished to reflate the economy which has been drastically devastated by a fall in oil prices in the

world oil market, with little or no success. Now it has shifted its attention to rice farming and border shutdown for increased revenue to shore the nation’s purse.

As a matter of factly, closing the borders against foreign rice import and smuggling will not to take Nigeria to the promise land of a 100% rice production for the socio economic welfare of the burgeoning population with intimidating facts

and figures of extreme poverty, poor health care, and infrastructural collapse and policy defects in education delivery.

There have been false claims, half truths, and misinformation about Nigerians consuming to much foreign rise. These misinformations by the apologists of local rice production are not only planted, killing people because rice is now seen

as a staple food of worldly sacrifice. Severally, Customs officials have killed Innocent Nigerians, over claims of suspicious rice smuggling on illegal

depots and other instances. Yet none of them have been charged or prosecuted.

To appreciate the analysis and the politics of rice beyond mere rhetoric. Nigeria is losing massive funds meant to grow the economy in double digits, improve efficiency of spending, double our current budget size and give priority to Capex to deliver investments infrastructure.

In this edition creekvibes analyst Isaac Orika did a thorough research and handed down a fantastic piece that you are reading through at the moment…Enjoy

Therefore, this silly obsession to the colour of rice made the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to reveal in a statement that the Buhari government

has provided N146billion as loans to rice farmers under its anchor borrower scheme in September 2019. Also, in January 2019, the CBN also

approved compensation for rice farmers over flooding valued at N27.5 billion. This implies that we have spent N173billion on rice only. Why as

the “Charity” approval made to rice farmers in the north? While other parts of the country need such gesture. It is unthinkable to note that if Nigeria

has spent N146 billion on rice alone, how does it compare to the high expenses in our national lives?

The federal government in 2018, projected to spend N61.5Million on education and N71billion on health for Nigerians.

Admittedly, funds spent on rice is more than the projected funds spent on health and education combined. Worse still, the 2018 budget performances was 55%, meaning the government would have been able to earn N7.2 trillion, as

projected, but instead they were only able to generate N3.96 trillion last year. What a sad news.

This administration in reality has spent less than N1.32 billion on health and education. While the expenditure on rice gulped a whopping N1.46billion

which is outrageously well above both sectors mentioned earlier. This is scary and ridiculous.

This is not how to encourage rice production as there seems to be a perception of bias. Does the government not practically know that education and health is more important to Nigerian’s than rice.

In this edition creekvibes analyst Isaac Orika did a thorough research and handed down a fantastic piece that you are reading through at the moment…Enjoy

Meanwhile, in November 2015, President Buhari, CBN and State Governors went to Kebbi to launch the wet season rice farming, just to boost rice production up till this moment, is the project still ongoing? The guess is yours.

If so much is spent on rice and it is in abundance, then the effort is worth it. Rationally and logically, how have these funds impacted on the lives of

Nigerians? The answer is continuous price like 50kg of foreign rice previously sold for N13,000 is now sold for N27,000 (107 percent like), while the

local variants according to a report from BBC has risen to 100 percent.

Nigerians are not just being killed; they are just putting their funds in the pockets of a few farmers, while they also have to live with higher and higher food prices which are not fair. This is why Nigeria is ranked as the leading poverty capital in the world.

Too much money is spent on disposable income

•To be continued in next edition