Border closure: Senator unhappy over ‘selective exemption’ for firms - OPID News

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Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Border closure: Senator unhappy over ‘selective exemption’ for firms

 Border closure: Senator unhappy over ‘selective exemption’ for firms


The Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Tolu Odebiyi, on Wednesday, condemned alleged special treatment granted some Nigerian companies to import and export goods, the current border closure by the Federal Government notwithstanding.

He urged the Federal Government to develop a comprehensive policy based on objective criteria to enable other deserving businesses to apply for similar waivers.

The lawmaker, who spoke while answering questions from reporters on Wednesday, in Abuja, insisted that Chapter 4 section 42 of the Constitution has granted the right to freedom from discrimination to every citizen.

He described the selective exemption granted to some firms by the Federal Government despite the present border closure as unfair.

The Senator has been fighting for the reconsideration of the stringent border closure policy since August 2019 when the policy came into effect.

He expressed his objection to what he termed ‘selective exemption’ of a certain company from border closure when thousands of small businesses in his constituency had gone into extinction because of the Federal Government imposed land border policy.

The Senator said he come from an area where the continuous border closure remained the hardest hit.

He said it was most unfair and morally wrong to select only one company to monopolise the business of export and import while others were left to rue their losses as the closure has drastically affected their incomes.

He said, “It is in fact a breach of the law, as contained in Chapter 4 Section 42 (1) of the Constitution.

“The section states that any law that gives preferential treatment to a particular individual, company or group is a breach of the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“If you are going to relax the policy, then it should be across the board. We have companies in Agbara in Ogun State that are adversely affected and nothing is being done to help them.

“I think it is not proper to give exemption to one company to the detriment of others. What will happen to the other companies most affected?

“The duty of the government is to discourage monopoly and create an enabling environment for all genuine business owners to strive so that they can create enough wealth and reduce unemployment.

“A lot of our people are struggling economically. It is a challenge we all need to find a better way of overcoming,” he added



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