A former House of Representatives member, Rep. Joseph Akinlaja, has advised the Federal Government to ensure reduction in the price of rice commodities.
Akinlaja gave the advice on Sunday in Abuja while reacting to the one million bags of rice paddy pyramids launched by President Muhammad Buhari.
He explained that the rice pyramid showed that the country was ready to be self-sufficient in rice production and should continue to showcase its achievement in terms of agriculture.
Akinlaja, who is also the former National Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), maintained that it was necessary Nigerians benefited with discounted price after processing the rice.
He added that there was the need for a drastic reduction in price of the commodities as soon as it rolled into the market with the cooperation of the millers association.
“I hope that rice will remain the cheapest commodities in the Nigerian market.”
NAN reports that the building of the paddy rice pyramid at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Airport Road, started mid- December 2021.
The rice pyramids were built with million bags of rice paddy planted and harvested from states across the country under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower’ Programme.
The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) had earlier said that the country would commence exportation of rice in the near future to engender the twin benefits of food security and economic diversification.
Mr Ado Hassan, Secretary of the Kano State chapter of RIFAN, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the unveiling of the mega rice pyramids in Abuja, that it was a joint project between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under its Anchor Borrowers Programme, and RIFAN.
“For the fact that Nigeria has not imported even a grain of rice in the last four years is enough prove that we are already self-sufficient in the commodity. The cultivation of rice is a reality and it will continue to happen,” he said.
Hassan said that though insecurity was a setback, it has not discouraged farmers from cultivating different crops.
He assured that the massive investment in rice cultivation by Nigeria will bring down its price and make it available to the ordinary Nigerians.