The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Tuesday warned that some unpatriotic Nigerians are conniving with foreigners to flood the country with ships loads of poor quality rice from Singapore.
He however assured the nation that the Federal government is determined to stop the importation of sub-standard rice or any other good into Nigeria henceforth.
Speaking at the mid-term town-hall meeting of the Federal Government in Abuja, Ogbeh, who said intelligence report reveals the eight ships are currently heading to Nigeria, said: “Information reaching us indicates that 8 ships loaded with low quality rice are heading to Benin Republic to enter Nigeria, but we are waiting for them.”
The Minister said the present administration has made tremendous progress in checking low quality rice importation into Nigeria, adding that rice importation into the country stood at 58,000 tonnes in 2016 compared to the over 580,000 tonnes witnessed in year 2015.
Chief Ogbeh urged Nigerians to identify with government on the successes recorded by the Anchor Borrowers Programme in Kebbi state, noting that this milestone should readily encourage many people to start growing and eating locally-produced rice.
Already, the Minister has been identified as spearheading moves in government circles to ban rice importation into the country by 2017 ending.