By Shola Agba, Abuja
The Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has expressed optimism that with the high level of rice production across the country, Nigeria will soon put an end to importation of the product.
The Governor gave the indication yesterday when he spoke to State House Correspondents after meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential villa, Abuja.
Governor 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 had begun to yield positive results as witnessed in the drastic reduction in the import of rice.
He explained that records from the ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources showed that rice importation in the country has gone down to about 80 percent and will continue to fall.
The governor further noted that policy reversals in the past did not only affect farmers but the complete value chain of production.
“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.”
Speaking on the recent commissioning of the WACOT rice parboiling mill worth N10billion in the 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.
Governor Bagudu 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 disclosed that the WACOT rice mill was already producing and distributing across the country.