A bag of Rice would soon sell for N40,000- Minister

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has said that the price of a bag of Rice may rise to N40,000 by December, if Nigeria fails to start producing Rice.
Lokpobiri made his comments at a town hall meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Saturday, while also revealing that Nigeria spends about $22bn a year on
importation of food into the country.
He said, “For your information, we spend about $22bn a year importing food into Nigeria.
“We know how many more dollars they bought and that is why you see the price of rice going up.
“Price of rice was maybe N12,000 some months ago, but it is now about N26,000 and if we don’t start producing, by December it could be N40,000.
“Rice matures in three months. So, this is a wake up call for Bayelsa people to take the four farms we have seriously.
“The Federal Government has four farms in the state in our records.
“The average land you see in Bayelsa can grow rice, so the colonial masters were not wrong in their assessment when they said Niger Delta could feed not only Nigerian but also the entire West Africa sub-region.
“Unfortunately, agriculture till today, is not a priority of the Niger Delta as far as the State Governments are concerned because of oil.”
He said the states in the Niger Delta had yet to give priority to agriculture the way the North-West states such as Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano as well as other states like Lagos, Ebonyi, Anambra, prioritised it.
According to the Minister, Anambra State for example, was raking in money by merely exporting vegetables; and not owing workers salaries, despite the fact that it does not have oil.


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