By Chidex Onyemah
Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi,, has openly pronounced support for the closure of the nation’s borders by the federal government.
Umahi disclosed this on Monday at Onueke, Headquarters of Ezza South local government area (LGA) while officially opening the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Account Opening Week (AOW). He commended the Buhari’s administration and added that the nation would gain tremendously from the closure.
Umahi urged Nigerians to compare the option of consuming poison from foreign produced-rice and ‘killers’ crossing the borders into the country in the name Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty.
“We should consider the benefits of protecting lives and quote me anywhere, I support the president on the issue of border closure. The closure of border means that the illegal smuggling of petroleum products is minimised and so many other benefits,” he said.
The governor decried the pressure from other West African countries for Nigeria to open her borders. “When China closed its economy against the world, it sat and provided a pathway for its survival, bearing in mind, its population. When it eventually opened its economy to the world, one can see that it is a super power and so our nation should not be a dumping ground.
“I believe the CBN supports the border closure because it has helped to shore up the value of the naira,” he said.
Umahi added that the campaign for the opening of accounts would be intensified in the state during the period as political office holders, especially the new appointed ones will be expected to open accounts if they have not.
“We will support each rural farmer who have not opened account from the 64 LGA development centres with N1, 000 to open accounts.
“The CBN must, therefore, lobby the development centre coordinators to ensure that the beneficiaries do not have to come to Abakaliki to do this,” he said.
Mr Chris Adayi, CBN Abakaliki branch controller, said that the event which starts from December 2 to December 7, was going on across five other states of the country namely Bayelsa, Ondo, Kano, Nasarawa and Gombe. “The AOW is an initiative of the Bankers Committee, Financial Service Providers and all financial inclusion stakeholders in the state.
“We are expecting open 47, 000 to 50, 000 new accounts and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) in 2019 and 2020 respectively and this means a lot of work for us. The activity is part of the initiatives aimed at driving collective action and achieving the intended targets, while targeting the grassroots,” he said.
Adayi said that the event will feature mobilization from deposit money banks, micro finance banks, pension, insurance and capital market operators to open accounts for the citizens.