Published On: Fri, Sep 16th, 2016

First Bank assesses position on rice industry

first-bank-of-nigeria-1LAGOS, (CAJ News) – A FINANCIAL think-tank is optimistic at Nigeria’s prospects of achieving self sustenance and meet demand for rice  consumption.

The sentiment by First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) is in reaction to Federal Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, who projected as a significant increase in the price of the commodity if the country failed to increase output.

He told a meeting at the weekend in Bayelsa State that the local community could play its part in diversification of the economy.

He warned the cost of a bag of rice could rise from N26 000 to N40 000 by the end of the year if the community did not plant rice in time for consumption in three months’ time.

“Lokpobiri subtly developed his argument to say that the development of commercial agriculture would discourage sabotage and violence in the Niger  Delta,” FBN stated.

“His message is in line with the official policy of import substitution. Since this was also the policy of the previous administration we have looked at the foreign trade data for Q2 2016 for any clues as to its success.”

The bank thus cautioned the public against reading too much into the statistics provided by the minister.

The local media account of Lokpobiri’s visit to Bayelsa highlights the need for caution over statistics.

He was quoted as putting annual food imports at US$22 billion yet the figure was $5,6 billion according to the bank.

CAJ News

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