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May 2024

Farmer hails CBN for lifting forex ban on rice importation

A large-scale rice farmer in northern Nigeria has backed the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to lift the Forex ban on the importation of rice.

He said the lifting of the Forex ban will break the monopoly of the processing and marketing of the grain by local millers.

Alhaji Hassan Yaro, who grows rice in Kano, Jigawa and Borno states, is the Chairman of the Kano Council of Traders and Entrepreneurs.

The PUNCH reports the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted the foreign exchange restrictions it placed on importers of rice and 42 other items eight years ago.

Alhaji Yaro, who spoke to our correspondent while inspecting one of his rice farms Wednesday at Zabarmari, in the outskirts of Maiduguri, praised the President Bola Tinubu administration for the lifting of the ban, believing that it would flood the market with the grain and slash its price to an affordable rate for the common man.

“I could remember, rice millers reached an agreement in 2014 with the then President Buhari in Africa House, Kano, when he was campaigning for re-election, to process enough of the grain for the country at an affordable price,” he recalled in a chat with The PUNCH, alleging, “They even received a huge amount of money from the CBN to ensure this.”

Yaro stated, “For whatever reason known, perhaps, only to the local millers, the grain, instead of flooding the markets at prices affordable to the ordinary Nigerian, went beyond the reach of most Nigerians in terms of both availability and affordability up to last week when the Forex ban was lifted.”

Alleging that most rice millers do not mean well for the country, he vowed to mobilise as many farmers of the grain as he can across the country to upscale the traditional milling method and pursue wavers for the importation of affordable milling machines from China, should the local millers attempt sabotaging the Tinubu administration on this. QR Code

Published Date: October 19, 2023

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