Critic and former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode says the Controller General, Nigerian Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) belongs to the stone age over his comment on the closure of the nation’s borders.
Ali had said: “This is the Government that has insisted that we must grow Nigeria, eat Nigeria. China that we go there to buy almost everything we use, closed their bothers for how many years? They closed it for 40 years to the whole world and today they are great China. Don’t you want to be great Nigeria?”
Reacting, Fani-Kayode said Ali “belongs to the stone age. May God deliver us from the debilitating gullibility and crushing ignorance of these Buharists.
“When China closed her borders to the world, did Chinese Heads of State and leaders travel abroad for treatment for weeks and months on end when they fell sick?
“Did they destroy the health sector in their own country? Did they send their family members and children to schools abroad after decimating and dismantling the education sector in their own nation?
“Did they travel to foreign countries at the drop of a hat and go there to tell foreign leaders and the foreign media long tales about how rotten, lazy and corrupt their people were?”
Fani-Kayode continued: “Did they kill local businesses, industries and commerce, crush the entrepreneurship spirit of their people and impoverish local businessmen and manufacturers who were trying to produce “made in China” goods?
“Worse of all, did they target their enemies in the business community and create massive monopolies for their relatives and friends? Honestly this Hameed must go back to school!
“Has protectionism and closing your borders ever boosted a nations economy? China’s strength lies in her willingness to trade with the outside world and in the size of her population and market. The fact that most of the world has access to that market and that they have opened theirs to China in return has made her very rich.”
According to Fani-Kayode, “If she closes her borders today China would be denied access to lucrative foreign markets across the world herself where she exports her products and she would lose all her wealth within 10 years and become weak, poor and isolated. No-one closes borders in a globalised world.
“Can someone please explain all this to Hameed? He seems to have zero understanding about commerce, about trade, about how the new and modern world is run and about how nations prosper.
“Outside of that the bitter truth is that the closure of Nigeria’s southern borders until the end of January is simply a crude and vicious attempt to spite and impoverish the south and ruin Christmas for millions of southerners.”
He said the closure of the border was also the biggest con in the last 10 years and that it presented a very real economic challenge to neighbouring countries in the West African sub-region, as well as ill-motivated, ill-conceived and that there is far more to it than meets the eye.
Fani-Kayode said if government wanted to stop smuggling, “then why do you only close the southern borders whilst keeping the northern ones wide open and allowing all manner of illicit goods, dangerous arms and foreign jihadists and Fulani fighters to pour into our country from there every day?
“Before Hameed Ali attempts to talk about China, the Chinese experience, the Chinese economic miracle and Chinese history, he should first learn how to spell the word “China.”