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Nigerian lawmakers face-off with ECOWAS MPs over border closure

Nigerian representatives at the ECOWAS Parliament have berated Members of Parliament from its West African neighbours over unfriendly criticisms over the decision of Nigeria to close its borders.

Reacting to questions and comments from the MPs who criticized the border closure, Hon. Idris Wase who leads the Nigerian delegation said that the critics of the closure were unfair to Nigerian.

Members of Parliament from other countries had criticized Nigeria for the border closure, accusing it of violating ECOWAS Protocol, adding that Nigeria should not stop playing its big brother role.

However, according to Wase who is the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, he stressed that many of the countries that are complaining had been violation of ECOWAS protocol for many years.

“We have a protocol, the protocol is very clear: No country in the ECOWAS sub-region is allowed to export into another country what it does not produce.

“This means that by our own actions we want to be self-sufficient, we do not want to be dumping grounds, we want to encourage production.

“This is not acceptable to Nigeria and I believe that as good citizens and as MPs, we should encourage our citizens to be productive.

“The population we have should not just be a number in size, it should be number that can be helpful to the nation of Africa and to the world.

Wase who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives informed the Parliament that the border closure was mainly for security reasons not economic.

He said that the fight against insecurity had been hampered by the porous borders and the complicity of neighbouring countries from where arms were being shipped into Nigeria.

He expressed displeasure at particular comments by some MPs who criticized Nigeria over delay in payment of its community levy.

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