By Ewa Innocent, The Sight News
Abakaliki: Ebonyi state governor, Engr. David Umahi has declared support to President Muhammadu Buhari on the closure of the nation’s borders, saying it was a step in the right direction to forestall the unwholesome activities of smugglers in the country.
Umahi made this known during the flag off ceremony of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Account Opening week,which took place at Ezza south local govt area of the state.
The Governor who noted that before the border closure, importation of poisonous rice,infiltration of foreign killer herdsmen and insurgents had become the order of the day, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his well thought action towards taming the tide.
“I want to say as a person,I stand with our President in the closing of the borders. If you are sensitive, you will know that our security challenges,foreign herdsmen killing and raping is almost becoming the thing of the past. That is what we are all saying,why should we allow these foreign herdsmen that are killers to our people to continue to come into Nigeria,in the name of ECOWAS treaty?
“We also support Mr President because our farmers are known for agriculture. Before now,the cost of producing a bag of rice was almost more than the cost of selling the rice. But today,our farmers are happy, not only that we Ebonyians are giving to the nation our healthy rice,we are also making money.
“You may not know the amount of poison that is being smuggled into this country in the name of rice. We have to weigh the option of eating poison,the option of killers crossing the borders in the name of ECOWAS treaty,and then the benefits of having lives” he said.
He further stated, “Quote me anywhere,I support Mr President all the way on the closure of borders.
“We Ebonyians when it comes to petroleum subsidy,I can say that we are the most disadvantaged. How many vehicles are in Ebonyi state. If you slice the subsidy and apportion what we pay in terms of subsidy state by state,you find out that we are the worst losers.
“The closure of these borders mean that the smugglers of petroleum products across the borders is minimised. So we are recouping the petroleum subsidy,and so many other benefits,so we commend Mr president for closing of the borders”, he remarked.
Governor Umahi who also commended CBN for carrying out its Social responsibility programmes in Ebonyi, announced the approval of N64 million for rural farmers in the state to assist them open Accounts, so as to improve the financial access and Account opening rating in the state.
Earlier, the branch controller,CBN, Ebonyi state, Mr Chris Ajayi, had explained that the Account opening week is to drive activities towards the set target of financial inclusion 2019.
“We have a target of reaching 80 percent inclusion by 2020 in actual numbers. We want to achieve 8.3 million Accounts in 2019, and 8.2 million in 2020.
“In Ebonyi,we are expected to open 47,000 and 50,000 new Accounts and BVN in 2019 and 2020 respectively”, he ended.