We Import Poison, Not Rice – Governor Bagudu

Bagudu
Custom seized some uncertified rice

By Oladipupo Mojeed 

Kebbi state Governor Abubakar Bagudu has likened the rice imported into Nigeria to poison.

Bagudu, the Chairman, Presidential Task force on Rice and Wheat Production, condemned the continuous importation of rice into the country in an interview with journalists on Sunday in Birnin-Kebbi .

Expressing sadness over citizens’ patronage of foreign rice, the governor said there were three major importers of rice into the country who specialised in importing very cheap and auctioned rice.

“Countries, particularly Thailand, India, China and Vietnam, buy a lot of paddy from their farmers and keep in storage sometimes, as long as nine years so that by so doing, they are supporting their farmers.

“A country like Thailand, for example, may have eight million tonnes of rice in storage; so occasionally, they will auction the ones that are almost going bad that is, the one that is not fit for human consumption.

“They sell the paddy as low as 20 per cent less than the international market price,” he said.

People carrying bags of Lake Rice at the distribution centre in Teslim Balogun
Stadium, Surulere in Lagos on Friday . NAN

He called on stakeholders and citizens to come together to significantly advance rice production.

The Acting President , Prof Yemi Osinbajo had on June 7, established a National Rice and Wheat Task Force to set up targets that will yield comprehensible and self-evident results in rice and wheat production.

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