Rice importation down by 80% — Osinbajo
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said Nigeria’s rice importation has dropped by over 80 per cent and that the country would be self-sufficient next year.
Declaring open the 16th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), Africa Region yesterday in Abuja, Osinbajo said the feat was achieved based on the collaborative efforts of both the Executive and the Legislature.
“In the last two years, Nigeria which is the largest producer of rice in West Africa and the second largest importer of rice in the world has changed that story. Our rice import bill in 2014 was N1billion a month.
“Today by a combination of progressive legislative appropriation to agriculture and providing single digit credit under our anchor borrowers programme for the purchase of right fertilizer quality and other inputs and credit, many rice farmers moved from getting yields of 3.5 metric tons per hectare to 7.5 mt per hectare.
The acting president also said the two arms of government have worked harmoniously in the past two years but that the media gets more interested in disagreements between them.
“On a lighter note, I don’t know the experience of Presiding Officers from other nations present of the portrayals by the press of the relationship between the executive and the legislature. Here in Nigeria what makes the news is the conflict between the executive and the legislature.
Senate President Bukola Saraki in a goodwill message said the conference should provide the opportunity to address certain issues in Africa.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who is the chairman of the conference called on legislatures across Africa to break their people free from dictatorship by building strong institutions