The high cost of food in the country can be attributed to thee actions of past Nigerian leaders, Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa State has said.
Governor Abubakar stated this at the virtual inauguration of 12 projects across six geopolitical zones of the country by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Ali Pantami, in Abuja.
Describing them as chronic importers, the governor said that food was expensive in Nigeria because there were no policy direction or any form of substitution to importation.
Past leaders have been chronic importers.
How can food not be expensive when we inherited a system that has been built on $100 to $120 per barrel of crude and there is no import substitution.
No clear policy direction has been actualised to reduce importation; we keep making money from oil and spending it on imports.
Speaking further, Governor Abubakar said that President Muhammadu Buhari is not to be blamed for the drop in oil price and scarcity of dollars because they are as a result of our over-dependence on importation.
We rely heavily on imports and oil prices dropped not because of Buhari, he did not cause the drop in oil price.
That causes scarcity of dollars because we have to import the dollar and because the past leaders have been chronic importers.
We have to still import what we need.
In October 2019, Nigeria, which shares boundaries with the Republic of Benin, Niger and Cameroon, closed all of its land borders to the movement of goods in a bid to tackle smuggling.
The comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Services, Hameed Ali, while speaking to journalists in Abuja, said:
All goods, for now, are banned from being exported or imported through our land borders and that is to ensure we have total control over what comes in.
The Federal Government had initially imposed a partial closure of its borders in August to facilitate a joint operation, named Swift Response, involving customs, immigration, police, and army officers. The borders will now remain closed until at least 31 January.
The move, aimed at curbing smuggling, has, however, led to price hike, while critics claim that it threatens free trade across the West African sub-region.