Vuong Dinh Hue, the Vietnamese deputy prime minister, has requested that his country be allowed to increase rice imports into Nigeria.
Speaking on Tuesday during a meeting with Adams Oshiomhole, chairman of the All Progressives Congress, the diplomat said his country would like to increase trade cooperation with Nigeria.
Soha, a Vietnamese news platform, quoted Vuong Dinh Hue as saying both countries have to strengthen their relations by cultural and sports exchanges.
Other agricultural items that the Vietnamese made a case for were cashew, seafood, leather shoes and textile.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Oshiomhole said he told the delegation that the government’s decision to restrict forex for rice importation will not be reversed.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“For too long, Nigeria has been a big brother to our neighbours. Now, that big brother is hurting and hurting very, very badly. We must secure ourselves as in the way you board an aircraft that if oxygen fails, and they drop the mask, you help yourself before helping others. This is the moment. 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.
“What has happened is that people relocate out of Nigeria, target Nigerian market, use our neighbours to compromise our own trade policies.”