*says Senate will invite Customs CG over Ibadan market raid.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Senator Teslim Folarin on Saturday declared that the woes in the Nigeria economy is as a result of the knock-on effect of COVID -19 pandemic.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan while breaking fast with leaders and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Oyo state led by the union Chairman, Alhaji Ismail Ademola Babalola, Senator Folarin cautioned that Nigerians should stop attributing the nation’s economic woes to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senator emphasized that there is the need for Nigerians to realise that President Buhari ” came in at a very difficult time” in the history of the country.
” What you are seeing now is knock-on effect of COVID . And you see, whether you like or not, If the western economies are still `sick’ we will remain sick. That is the truth of the matter”, he said.
Senator Folarin added, ” our mainstay is oil. During this COVID period, there was a time when oil fell to as low as 20 dollars per barrel. Aviation industry, a major user of oil is almost grounded. I am not making excuses, we always have our problems, when you add this to it, this is what you will get”.
” The major problem affecting our economy today is Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and I am surprise people aren’t seeing this.COVID-19 has almost brought the world economy to its knees and you know Nigeria cannot operate in isolation of the world economy”.
According to Senator Folarin, ” in the western countries, their economy is been driven by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). If you go there now most of these shops are closed.The difference is they are more organized. They know how many people live in their countries”.
” In England for instance, they say you earn 50,000 a month for argument sake and they say stay at home we will give you 20,000 for staying at home. We don’t have such record. I was speaking to someone who I know sells cars only three days ago and I said to him, how are you coping in your business. He replied, Oga business has collapsed. With this current exchange rate how is he going to bring cars. They are out of business, they can’t feed their families. May be five of them would then be lured into illegal things. I am not saying its right, its just the way it is”
Commenting on the early Saturday raid of Orita merin market in Ibadan, by operatives of the Federal Operation Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS), Senator Folarin hinted that the Senate will summon the Controller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali over the said invasion of some markets in Ibadan by Customs officers.
Senator Folarin said he has been discussing the matter with the leadership of the Senate and that customs should be arrest smugglers at the borders and not within the town.
“I was not happy and because the Customs is a federal agency, what I intends to do this week is to raise it. I am going to speak with the leadership, we are not happy. It calls for a motion. We are going to invite the Customs CG to come and explain their action. They cannot do that, if you are going to arrest people, you should go and stay at the borders. Do not come to the town”.
Senator Folarin noted, “so, if I have rice that I want to share with people and you will come and intercept it. Or if I have Okada and you come and burst it the way they did to my house the last time. It is not done, it is very uncivilized.”