President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned one million bags of paddy rice pyramid in Abuja to showcase Nigeria’s journey to food self-sufficiency. The rice pyramid was unveiled at a time that the price of one bag of rice is high in various parts of the country. Accordingly, some stakeholders in the polity expressed concern that the pyramid reflect sheer showmanship by the president rather than addressing the fundamental issue of making rice available, accessible, and affordable to Nigerian citizens.
President Buhari, unveiling the one million bag, paddy rice pyramids, emphasized that it shows that Nigeria “is steadily advancing towards self-sufficiency in food production.”
President Buhari urged members of the agriculture commodity associations, who are yet to participate in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, to get involved in the project to support the food sufficiency target of the government.
The president further expressed satisfaction that integrated rice mills have increased from 15 to over 50 in the country, adding that it is positive more jobs will be created when two additional ones in Lagos and Katsina begin operations.
President Buhari commended the effort of the Central Bank of Nigeria in reviving the Commodity Exchange in the country following his approval; saying he expects this to result in farmers having ready buyers for their produce, thereby, eliminating farm to market logistic challenges.
The Central Bank of Nigeria was identified to have stimulated the emergent pyramid through the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Buhari administration.
It was indicated that the bags of rice would be sold to rice millers at subsidized rates in what the CBN describes as efforts to control the price of the commodity.