Rice importation will end soon, says Bagudu
The Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, on Friday expressed optimism that with the high level of rice production in the country, Nigeria will soon end importation of the product.
He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bagudu, who was accompanied to the Villa by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, said that the policy of the Federal Government which supports farmers and domestic production was yielding positive results that have already witnessed drastic reduction in the importation of rice.
He said that records from the Ministry of Agriculture showed that rice importation in the country has gone down to about 80 percent and will continue to fall.
The governor noted that policy reversals in the past did not only affect farmers but the complete value chain of production.
Asked whether rice importation will end soon, he said “indeed so”.
“We all thank the policy because it is the policy of the federal government 36 states of the federation produce rice but what has happened is that periodic policy reversals have held the farmers back, but now we have a policy that supports domestic production.
“We have a policy according to the minister of agriculture, import of rice has gone down by over 80%, he also announced that this year we will be producing enough to meet our national self-sufficiency quest, all thanks to the policy,”.
On the recent commissioning of the WACOT rice parboiling mill worth N10 billion in his state, governor Bagudu said that it was an indication that the policy framework of the federal government on agriculture was working. The rice mill was commissioned by acting President Osinbajo.
He said “it signifies that the policy framework of the federal government is working and we want to thank the Federal government for that. President Muhammadu Buhari, was in Kebbi in November 2015 and planted the seed.
“The acting president now wants to end the value chain by commissioning a mill that will process such rice that is being produced by our teeming populace,” he noted.
The governor said that the WACOT rice mill was already producing and distributing across the country.