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June 2024

ActionAid cautions govt against ban on rice import

ActionAid Nigeria has warned that the current decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to lift Forex ban on rice importation will significantly affect government’s plan to achieve self sufficiency in rice production. It will be recalled that the CBN recently lifted ban on importation of rice and 42 other items

The Country Director of the group, Andrew Mamedu expressed this concern during a dialogue and dissemination event on alternative cases, themed: “Addressing Pollution in Agribusiness and Energy Projects” in Abuja.

Represented by AAN’s Acting Head of Programmes, Celestine Okwudili, Mamedu said: “The challenge is that competition intensifies for local farmers within the gap. If the productivity of local rice increases, and awareness is raised, consumers will be compelled to accept those bourgeois who can afford it.”

He added, “The lifting of the ban will negatively impact local farmers, and the government should reconsider this move. If local rice is insufficient, the government should invest in it. This should be approached as a business, collaborating with state governments, private entities, and individuals to generate income for the local community.”

Mamedu urged the Federal Government to establish rice processing plants within each local council to turn it into a profitable investment. He emphasised the need for the government to simplify technology, making it affordable and accessible.

Highlighting the success of garri processing plants in the Niger Delta, Mamedu pointed out, “Government should examine such models, adapt them, and provide alternative solutions going forward.”

An Alternative Cases Consultant, Donald Ofoegu, said: “The importance of the energy transition proposal, suggesting a gradual shift from manual processes to energy-efficient fossil fuel use and eventually transitioning to 100 per cent clean energy.” QR Code

Published Date: December 3, 2023

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