Niger State Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello, has banned the
purchase of foreign rice by government institutions in order to boost local production of the staple food, encourage and boost agricultural business in the state.
A statement by his coordinator Media and Publicity Jide Orintunsin,
yesterday in Minna disclosed that the governor gave the order in
Minna, the state capital when he hosted the leadership and members of Niger State chapter of the of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria
The governor was quoted in the statement that the ban became necessary as a result of the tremendous improvement recorded in rice production by local rice farmers, with their rice competing favourably with imported ones and in fulfilment of his administration’s resolve to make agriculture the main economic booster of the state.
Orintusin therefore stated that the governor reaffirmed that the state was the country’s number one rice producer and maintained that the ban would go a long way in revolutionising rice production in the state.
The statement quoted the governor as saying that: “Hence forth we will no longer purchase imported rice for government institutions, schools and during festive seasons as well as for any palliatives to be carried out by the government. Only Niger State locally made rice will now be bought for all government institutions.
“We have to encourage our farmers, so that with time, they will
improve more on their processing skills, improve their economic power and boost the state internally generated revenue base.
“I am optimistic that through rice farming and production we can
improve our IGR and I hope your association will come with a blueprint that will help the state as well as the farmers to benefit from this programme”, The statement added.
The governor then assured the association of his administration’s
readiness to boost agricultural activities in the state adding that a committee will be set up to look into how to transform rice production in the state.
The state chairman, Rice Farms Association of Nigeria, Alh. Mahmood Sani, had called on the government to fashion out ways by which the state can revolutionise rice production in the state so as to enable the state to maintain her leadership position among rice producers in the country.
He also appealed to the state government to put in place appropriate policies that will avail her the huge revenue derivable from rice potentials and boost its internally generated revenue.