Sunday, March 3, 2024

Coronavirus: Lawmaker calls for total ban on ‘Okrika’ clothes

To contain the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, the country needs to place a permanent ban on the importation of fairly used clothes popular called ‘Okrika’, a serving senator, Francis Fadahunsi, said on Monday.

Fadahunsi, a former Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, who is also the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, said that at present there are many containers with clothing materials from China at Onne Port waiting to be cleared into the country. This he said is dangerous for the health of the nation.

Senator Fadahunsi said the Federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health and other health agencies of government need to move fast to prevent an eventual epidemic of the coronavirus ensuring that used clothing materials from China and other parts of Europe are banned totally.

The lawmaker who is the vice-chairman Senate Committee on Customs and Exercise said it is sickening that Nigerians import all manners of things that can be injurious to the health of the nation just to make money.

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Despite the ban on fairly used goods in the custom books, ‘Okrika’ is still massively imported into the country by desperate businessmen and women.

The lawmaker drew the attention of the nation to the massive importation of frozen foods in recent years. The frozen foods which he said was preserved by chemicals before being imported to Nigeria are responsible for the high rate of cancer among Nigerians.

Fadahunsi said the craze for foreign things, crave for social status and unpatriotic attitudes by Nigerians is putting the health of the entire nation in jeopardy. He said the situation is so alarming that soup and other edibles are now being imported from China to Nigerians.

Fadahunsi said Custom officials and other relevant agencies should focus their searchlight on the ports in the country especially Onne Port where cargos bringing in items from China are waiting to be cleared into the country.

On the $22.8 billion facility approved by the Senate, the lawmaker said the loan is not in the best interest of the country.

The Senate last week approved the 2016-2018 facility which was rejected by the 8th Senate.

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The loan was approved after a heated debate in the red chambers which resulted in a closed session that lasted about one hour.

The lawmakers emerge to approve the loan which the Federal government says it will be used to address the critical infrastructural deficit in the country.

But Senator Fadahunsi said the debt profile of the country is scary and generations coming will keep paying a debt which may end up not being utilized appropriately.

The Osun lawmaker said despite opposition to the loan, the numerical strength of the ruling party eventual got the approval to scale through.

He said previous loans collected by the country has not been judiciously used and it is in doubt if the 22.8 billion dollars will be used for the purpose it was intended.

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