Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says with the phenomenal increase in rice production and processing in the country, Nigeria will be exporting the commodity in the next two years.
The minister stated this on Thursday in Kura, Kano state during an assessment tour of the impact of the border drill on the entire rice production value chain.
Nanono, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed led stakeholders and a team of journalists on inspection of a cluster of cottage rice mills in Kura.
The team also visited four integrated rice mills in the state which are Al-Hamsad Rice, Kura Brothers Rice Mill, Tiamin Rice Ltd and Umza International Farms.
“The way and manner we are going in the production of rice, in the next two years, we will start exporting rice outside the country.
“For those that are worried about the partial close of our borders, we are not doing this to hurt the people but to protect the future of the country, provide jobs and food sufficiency.
“Government will continue to give support to rice farmers to achieve this goal,” he said.
The minister said that Kura is an agrarian settlement known for irrigation farming in rice, tomato, maize and other items, mostly consumed in the Southern part of the country.
He said farmers in Kura had, however, concentrated on rice production following the border drill and the ban in rice importation.
Speaking in the same vein, Mohammed assured that the federal government would continue to support the stakeholder in the rice production value chain.
He, however, appealed to rice growers and millers not to see the loans given to them as their own “share of the national cake”.
“They must understand that when loans are not paid back, it will be difficult for them and others to get more loans,” he said.
Alhaji Ali Idris, Chairman Kura Rice Processing and Marketing Association called on the government to sustain the border closure, stressing that Nigeria has the capacity to feed itself and the neighbouring countries.
Idris, who spoke in Hausa language, said since the closure of the borders and the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to achieving self-sufficiency on food production, his people were fully back in business.
He disclosed that over 10,000 youths in Kura Local Government were gainfully employed in the rice production value chain and they produce about 5000 tones of rice every day.
He commended the Federal government for supporting them with modern machine and urged provision of polishers, de-stoners to further enhance their production.
Another miller, Adamu Habu called on the government to sustain the border closure because of its impact on the economy.
He said more people were being employed in the rice production value chain and supporting the economy.
The President of Integrated Rice Millers Association in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Umza, said the border closure had impacted positively on rice industry nationwide and in particular, Kano state.
He said prior to the closure, the industry had been battling with foreign rice market forces which threatened its coexistence.
Umza said that the border closure had helped to transform the rice value chain in Kano state and government should sustain it.
“Kano state, by virtue of its agrarian origin has provided a conducive atmosphere where rice milling activities thrives.
“The state has the largest concentration of integrated rice processing mills as well as clusters of cottage rice mills scattered across nearly all the local government in the state.
“Of the 35 registered integrated rice mills in Nigeria, about 12 are domiciled in Kano and more are coming up, which makes Kano undoubtedly the capital of rice processing in Nigeria.
“An estimated 5000 metric tones of finished rice is turned out daily by the combined integrated mills and cottage mills in Kano.
“This is shared in the ratio of about 60 per cent from the cottage mills and 40 per cent from the integrated mills.
“Combined, the mills employ about 10,000 people either directly or indirectly,” he said.
Umza urged the Federal government to sustain the good work of securing the borders and hence the economy.
He said, if the policy is sustained, the industry would continue to grow and provide food and employment to the rapidly growing and urban population.
11 Killed, 4 Women Kidnapped As Bandits Raid Niger Communities
11 persons have been killed and four women kidnapped as gunmen attacked five communities in Shiroro local government area.
Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala Makera and Dnalgwa communities were attacked in the early hours of Saturday.
The bandits were said to have moved from house to house to carry out their activities.
The attack is coming barely one week after eight communities were sacked by bandits in the same Shiroro local government where a village head and 16 others were killed.
One of the victims of the attack, Saidu Yisa, said that two of his wives were raped by four of the bandits in his presence before he was shot at a close range.
The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District Alhaji Sani Musa confirmed the latest attack saying that the situation is getting out of hand.
The Senator lamented the incessant killings and called the federal government and security agencies to up their strategies.
“As the attacks continued, more villagers in my constituency are awaiting their fate as no sign of succor seems to be coming their way. It is confirmed that the bandits are attacking all through the night to this afternoon and most communities are in grave danger,” he said.
Why EFCC Rejects Petitions — Magu
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Saturday, January 25, 2020, shed light on why some petitions sent to the anti-graft agency are returned.
According to him, every petition received by the commission passes through the Screening Committee who considers the content and determine whether it falls within the scope of its constitutional mandate.
The EFCC chairman made the explanation while featuring on “Talk Radio”, a morning programme of the Ibadan-based Inspiration 100.5 FM.
“Before we commence investigations on any petition, we give them to the Screening Committee for review. The committee will look at the content and advise accordingly on what to do.
“If it is something we should handle, we launch into action. If not, we guide the petitioner on the appropriate place to take it to,” he said.
Polygamy Is Major Cause Of Poverty In The North — Emir Of Kano, Sanusi
Muhammad Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, says polygamy is the major cause of poverty in Northern Nigeria.
The monarch said this while moderating a paper presentation session on ‘the role of universities in nation building’ at the maiden convocation of the Federal University, Gusau, in Zamfara state, on Friday January 24th.
Represented by one of his aides, Usman Bugaji, the monarch said the culture of polygamy is what makes the north a major area of poverty in the country, unlike in the south where the poverty level has reduced.
“There are people who cannot afford to feed one wife but are ready to marry three wives and have more children than they can feed, talk less of paying for their school fees.
“The poverty level of the North is 80 percent, while in the South, the percentage is 20 percent, simply because of the culture of marrying many wives and producing many children who, at the end, are left on the streets to beg for what to eat,” he said.