Open Borders to More Companies, Senator Tolu Odebiyi tells Buhari

The Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Tolu Odebiyi, has frowned on the special treatment accorded some firms to export items despite the current border closure.

He asked the Federal Government to develop a comprehensive policy based on objective criteria to enable other deserving businesses to apply for similar waivers.

The Senator who spoke with journalists on Wednesday, said Chapter 4 Section 42 expressly stated the right to freedom from discrimination.

He described as unfair, the recent exemption by presidential fiat, some firms by the Federal Government from the ongoing border restrictions.

The senator said he had been fighting for the reconsideration of the stringent border closure policy since August 2019 when the policy came into effect.

He expressed objection to what he termed ‘selective exemption’ of some companies from border closure when thousands of small businesses in his constituency had gone into extinction because of the Federal Government imposed land border policy.

Odebiyi said he came from an area where the continuous border closure remained the hardest hit.

He said it was unfair and morally wrong to select only one company to monopolise the business while others were left to rue their losses as the closure had drastically affected their incomes.

He said, “It is in fact a breach of the law, as contained in Chapter 4 Section 42 (1) of the constitution.

“The section states that any law that gives preferential treatment to a particular individual, company or group is a breach of the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“If you are going to relax the policy, then it should be across board. We have companies in Agbara in Ogun State that are adversely affected and nothing is being done to help them.

“I think it is not proper to give exemption to one company to the detriment of others. What will happen to the other companies most affected?

“The duty of the government is to discourage monopoly and create an enabling environment for all genuine business owners to strive so that they can create enough wealth and reduce unemployment.

“A lot of our people are struggling economically. It is a challenge we all need to find a better way of overcoming.”

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