Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RiPAN) has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led Federal Government to reconsider its recent decision to lift the ban on importation of foreign rice as announced.
The Public Relation Officer of the Kano Chapter of the Association and Chairman, CEO, Fursa Food LTD, Alh. Abba Dantata made the appeal yesterday in Kano during a media chart with members of Association of Kano Online Journalists (ASKOJ).
According to him, although the Federal Government has not come out to make it clear to the populace and other relevant stakeholders why the lift on the ban at a time local production is being encouraged, RPAN considers the move a ‘wrong one’, capable of destroying local rice industries.
Dantata said, a lot has been put in place by the previous administration to encourage rice production in the country which this present administration is a continuety as such, should not be expected to turn back progress achieved so far in that regard.
Any country that cannot produce food for its people is calling for trouble – Abba Dantata
He suggested that, the Federal Government should rather embark on massive infrastructural development that will further make rice production easier and cheaper without opening up the borders for its Importation which will force many of their members to shutdown thereby, creating more unemployment.
Abba, however blamed shortage of rice paddy, middle men and unstable foreign exchange rate among others as some of the major factors responsible for high cost of local rice which the government must find a way to checkmate these issues with lasting solutions.
Our economy must not be opened up for people to dump all manner of products to the detriment of our own industries- Fursa CEO
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently lifted ban on 43 items which has generated mixed reactions amongst experts.
The business mugul however added that personally, he believes the government has good intentions and will not jeopardise efforts made to encourage farming in the nation.
He further added that the Federal Government must put in place policies that will protect local rice industry if the foreign rice must be allowed into the country to avoid massive exit from the industry.
That as a body, they have already written to the Federal Government seeking for audience over the matter and are awaiting their response.