When a delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vuong Dinh, visited Nigeria, some people thought that the third largest rice exporter in the world had visited the nation to plead with the Federal Government to open its borders, at least to help its major benefactor (Seme border).
But the five-man delegate visited the country to negotiate trade terms between both countries.
On Tuesday, Hue and his team met the National Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomshole to lobby Nigeria to import its rice at discounted rates.
Hue also stated that his country seeks to strengthen relations with Nigeria through cultural and sports exchanges. The major agricultural items which the Vietnamese made cases for were rice importation, the exportation of cashew nuts, seafood, leather shoes and textiles.
The plan was to meet Oshiomole before meeting Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to present similar demands.
However, reacting to the demands, Oshiomhole stated that Nigeria would not accept such demands from Vietnam, advising the country to rather secure land and invest in rice production in Nigeria.
The ruling party’s Chairman insisted that Nigeria would no longer be a dumping ground for unwanted chemicals and spoilt products, stressing that the nation’s borders would remain closed until neighbouring countries learn to respect the rule of fair trade.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Oshiomhole said, “Nigerians should unanimously back the decision of the federal government to close the border until our neighbours try to respect the laws of fair and free trade. Nigeria must not and can’t be a dumping ground for imported food, imported rice and other smuggled chemicals and drugs from other countries.
“I think this is one policy that Nigerians across the party divide, across primordial sentiments, should salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari in closing down the borders.
“… We must close the borders, even if we do it for two, three years, it doesn’t matter. So that our neighbours will begin to respect the rules of international engagement and trade.”