SAUDI ARABIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) has said that the price of rice will go down as well as ensure its availability by December.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this information was made available to them by the Deputy Chairman of National Food Security Council (NFSC), Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state who was among the President Buhari’s entourage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Attesting to the fact that the council was aware of the current expensive price of the commodity in the market, he assured Nigerians that the government is poised to reduce the price and make it readily available to consumers.
“The good news is that there is a lot of production in the country, all the millers in Nigeria have enough paddy and farmers are producing and the harvest is coming in strong”, he said.
Gov. Atiku lamented about the activities of some marketers who he said has been been “frustrating the new rice policy”.
“We believe in addition to market forces, there are some people bent on manipulating the situation in order to exploit bigger revenue, bigger profits and some may even be doing so for the wrong reason”, he lamented.
”They want to truncate policy, which is helping the Nigerian economy; which is helping Nigerian millers; which is helping the Nigerian farmers and the Nigerian population,” he continued to say.
He affirmed that the NFSC as chaired by the president, Muhammadu Buhari will make sure they bring down the price of rice and also make it available in the market for the citizens.
“We are taking steps to ensure that more rice is taken to markets where shortages can easily be created,” he said.
“There is enough production in the country and the National Food Security Council is focused on how to ensure that availability is restored all across the country so that prices will come down reflective of the cost of production,’’ he added.
Speaking on the alleged loss of N1 billion by Onion farmers in Kebbi state, Gov. Atiku Bagudu pronounced that the government has always reacted to the awkward situation of farmers and on time.
”For the onion farmers they have calculated that the rain will stop by September because when onion is growing there is a point at which it does not desire rainfall, now we have rainfall,” he said.
He, however, said the total loss incurred by the farmers is yet to be determined by the government branch vested with the function to assess it.
“I’m not sure of the N1 billion lost in terms of quantum because we have not done the assessment but we are always willing and ready to support all our producers especially when they are faced with unforeseen circumstances like this,’’ the Kebbi state governor said.
“We have always responded to farmers’ issues or any trade group that has a misfortune, both the State and the Federal Government has been very active in helping,” Gov. Atiku said.
In his statement, he revealed that the sum of N23 billion has been authorized to be given to states hit by flood catastrophe in this year 2019.
“You may recall that recently, Mr President approved about N23 billion for states affected by flood which Kebbi is one of them, and this is in addition to our own resources that we mobilise to support our farmers,” he affirmed.
“This year’s rainy season is unusual, as of last week there was rain and it’s unusual.