Jonathan To Ban Rice Importation To Nigeria In 2015 – Labaran Maku
The Minister of information, Mr. Labaran Maku says President Good luck Jonathan plans to ban rice importation into Nigeria by the year 2015 in order to encourage farmers in the country have the capacity to produce enough rice for the country.The Minister stated this in Birnin Kebbi during the Good Governance Media Tour while inspecting the Labana Rice Mill constructed at the cost of 630 million naira which is partnership between the private sector and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.Maku said that the government was spending billions of naira importing rice into the country, the money which could have benefitted the Nigerian farmers. “What President Jonathan has decided to do is to give a target of 2015 to ban rice into Nigeria, so that farmers in Kebbi, farmers in Nassarawa, farmers in Benue, in Niger, in Sokoto would have the capacity to produce rice. It is a shame we continue to spend billions and billions of naira to import rice’’, the Minister said. The Minister further added that unless the issue of processing of rice in the modern way is addressed, Nigerians would still regard the imported rice and continue to patronize it. Maku also faulted the decision of the Federal Government to abolish marketing boards in 1980 which according to him, has cut off farmers from commercial traders and have affected bulk purchase and processing.