Federal Government Is appealing to Nigerians to exercise patience with the government over the continued closure of the country’s border.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clement Agba at the completion ceremony of the Chinese-government funded ‘10,000 African Villages’ Nigeria project in Abuja, called for the support of Nigerian saying Federal Government’s decision to close the borders was to encourage increased local production and boost export.
said the closure of the borders was also aimed at boosting the capacity of indigenous manufacturers and growing the economy of the country. He said, “Nigerian had been very impatient towards their leaders. I want to encourage us to be very patient with our leaders. If you look at China, they toed this same path and the people were patient. By 1971, nobody heard about China. It closed it borders; the people were eating and using what they could produce in the country. “It was not trading with other part of the world; there was just there; nobody heard about them. Today, it is opened, after the leaders saw that the country was self-sufficient.
“Nigerians depend solely on imported goods, even when such goods are produced locally. The preference for foreign goods over locally-produced goods is highly pronounced, especially as local products are usually viewed as inferior. “Nigeria is planning and has closed the border. But the comments flying around are not encouraging. We should endure; as it is when we endure that we can get to the Promised Land. Let us use the Chinese experience as an example, it is only then that we would appreciate the efforts of the government.”
The 10,000 African Villages project is a project initiated and funded by the Chinese Government in partnership with the Federal and State Governments, and was executed by the Nigerian Television Authority-Star Times television Network. The project was designed to provide access to satellite television for 10,000 African villages with 10 per cent of the project earmarked for Nigeria. The project, which commenced in 2018, was completed in 2019 and saw to the installation of 32 inches’ television sets, solar television set and 20 decoders to each of the villages. Commenting on the project, Chief Operating Officer of StarTimes Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Aina, said the execution of the project in Nigeria costs $5.6 million, while he added that the project was executed in all in the local government areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, despite the insecurity in some of the localities. In addition to the television sets and decoders, Aina disclosed that each of the communities would enjoy between 20 and 30 channels free over a period of two years to five years.