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Buhari gives reasons behind border closure




President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the government closed all borders of the nation to protect farmers.


The President revealed this during a meeting with the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


He said, since the closure of the land borders two years ago, so many local farmers have been encouraged to continue farming.


Buhari appreciated the AfDB’s plans towards predicted consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war to secure food for the continent.


He expressed, “Thank you for knowing our weaknesses and our strengths, and for planning and working ahead.


“We are very much aware of the need for food security, and to encourage our local farmers, that was why we closed our borders for about two years to curb smuggling. We made some progress.”


The AfDB President stated part of the consequences saying, “Already, the price of wheat has gone up to about 60 per cent.


He continued that, “Maize and other grains will also be affected. There may be fertilizer crisis, as there would be about two million metric tons deficit.


“And that will affect food production by about 20 per cent. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19, that would be rather serious.


Dr. Adesina said, “the AfDB had developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is now before the bank’s Board for approval.


“We were not ready for COVID-19, but we are now planning to avert food crisis on the continent. There is plan to help farmers cultivate wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and soybeans. It will mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.”


“In total, our support will help Nigeria to produce 9.5 million metric tons of food.”

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