The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, Heineken Lokpobiri has expressed concern over the issue of smuggling of foreign foods into the country, saying government’s efforts and successes in the agricultural sector of the economy would be frustrated unless urgent measures are put in place to address it. Lokpobiri made this known recently while on a courtesy visit to the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun. The minister who identified Ogun State as one of the areas affected by the issue of smuggling, cautioned that social problems will continue to fester in the country if the problem is not promptly nipped in the bud.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking steps to combat the challenge and urged states living in the border areas of the country to take measures to complement government’s efforts. He revealed that one of the measures put in place by the federal government to combat smuggling was the setting up of the committee headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, which he said is working round the clock to ensure that the issue of smuggling becomes a thing of the past.
“The federal government is doing everything possible to ensure that we collaborate with the Republic of Benin, Niger and Chad to check this problem,” he affirmed.
Reacting to this, Governor Amosun in his response also shared his concerns with the minister on the issue of smuggling, noting that the state has the highest number of unmanned borders in the country and disclosed that he was already discussing with the interior ministry on ways of mitigating the impact of the problem both in the short and long term basis.
“The state is aware of those challenges smuggling poses to our agriculture and that is why we are insisting that all our porous borders should be closed,” he said.
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