Mr Ado Hassan, Secretary of the RIFAN chapter in Kano State, in an interview announced that Nigeria will soon begin exporting rice in order to achieve the twin goals of food security and economic diversification.
The pyramid which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari is a collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and RIFAN under the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Program.
Hassan disputed reports that the rice pyramids on exhibit were not totally made of rice, claiming that the item was brought in by rice farmers from every state in the country.
“The rice here is from all over the country. RIFAN has always been real; it is not possible to deceive 200 million Nigerians with a project like this.
“For the fact that Nigeria has not imported even a grain of rice in the last four years is enough proof that we are already self-sufficient in the commodity. The cultivation of rice is a reality and it will continue to happen,” he stated.
“There was a time when the CBN was spending N1billion to support rice import bills. Today the apex bank is no longer spending a kobo to support the importation of rice.
“Today, Nigeria has become the highest rice grower in the whole of Africa. That is a great achievement.” He concluded
He went on to say that, while insecurity was a disadvantage, it did not deter farmers from cultivating a range of crops.
He promised that Nigeria’s significant investment in rice growing will reduce the price and make it more affordable to average Nigerians.