Kayode Oguntuase, Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, said the ban on rice and vehicles importation through the land border was for the benefit of Nigerians.
He said this in a statement issued by the Consul, Olanrewaju Badmus in Badagry, Lagos on Wednesday.
Oguntuase spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Yashikira in Kwara State, Alhaji Umar Seriki.
He said the ban placed on rice and importation of cars through the land border was to improve local production.
He said: “We would keep on addressing this matter until people understand the short and long term benefits of this policy that the government has taken in order to improve the economy.
“Our locally made products have to be encouraged in order to provide employment for people and in order to make this happen, some drastic steps must be taken and this is one of them.
“If Cotonou was making its own cars, then it would be a different case but they also import these things and we wouldn’t allow Nigeria to be a dumping ground for all these products.
“The government has the wellbeing of its citizens at heart and to achieve such goal, some measures must be taken to ensure that.’’
The envoy urged people in the community to desist from smuggling.
Oguntuase said: “Everyone should engage in legitimate trade and should not be used as a tool to engage in illegal trade as this affects the economy of the country.
“We must learn to work together with the government and one of the ways of ensuring that is by resisting smuggling and other illicit acts.’’
The statement said Seriki thanked the envoy for his visit, noting that he was the first Nigerian ambassador to visit the community.
He also used the occasion to inform the ambassador that the community lacked basic social amenities.
He said: “For many years, we haven’t had power supply in this community, and there are no health care services so we have to go as far as Cotonou to get such.
“Also, a liaison office should be established in the community so that the people around can easily get access to travel and other relevant documents.’’