The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday commended the Federal Government for closure of land borders to check smuggling.
Adeyemi made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sideline of a visit to his palace in Oyo by a delegation from the Nigerian Chapter of Women in Maritime Africa.
He, however, advised that government should ensure that genuine traders were not affected.
According to him, government should have consulted far and wide and sought the views of people before making any policy statement and commencement of any enforcement.
He said: “There are people who are honest traders that are not smugglers. Now such people cannot do their business.
“If you go to Benin Republic and buy goods that you want to sell, even if it is legitimate trade before the border was banned, the police will still be harassing them.
“There is no counter measure to know whether honest and genuine traders are being affected.
“The closure of border is a good thing if we can adequately feed ourselves at home and government puts necessary machinery into motion to see that those cultivating rice have sufficient quantity for Nigerians before enforcing such policy.”
He said that government was generating trillions of revenue yearly from trade across the borders in the Southwest, but not all the revenues were accounted for.
The Alaafin, however, stressed that government’s action on the closure of land borders was a good policy to sanitise and put a stop to smuggling.