Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), has said that the closure of the country’s land borders is a good omen for Nigeria’s blossoming economy.
This, the RIFAN National President says, has begun to bolster the nation’s economy, hence, it is now becoming more formidably robust and transformed, which is expected to translate into more tangible prosperity for the country.
He further observed that it was not just for the benefit of local rice producers but to encourage and inculcate the spirit of nationalism, patriotism and economic discipline in Nigerians for self-sufficiency in food production.
Similarly, he noted that ”it is to the advantage of our farmers, processors and millers. It has also created massive employment, boosted the agriculture sector as well as income among Nigerians”, he pointed out.
Goronyo who spoke in Sokoto Tuesday said the directive has saved the country over N300bn used annually in importing rice in the past, which supported and boosted the economy of the exporting countries to the disadvantage of Nigeria.
“It has supported their economies in terms of infrastructural development employment and so many other developmental projects at the expense of our efforts. It is a thing to celebrate that all these have been checked and brought under control with the closure of our borders.
According to the RIFAN President, ”Nigeria is only using 20% of such sum to produce over 10m metric tonnes of paddy rice which is above our consumption ration of 7.5m metric tonnes.
” It may interest Nigerians to know that between 2015 to date, Nigerians percentage of rice consumption has been significantly from local production.
” Therefore, I am urging Nigerians to see the Federal Government strategic border closure as a wake up call to patriotism and not about rice producers making money rather to ensure Nigerians are remarkably producing what we eat locally thus open window for export to earn foreign exchange for economic prosperity”, he stressed.
He added that” we cannot continue to be dependant on foreign rice which we have the land and fertility to produce in large quantum.”
He also raised the hope of Nigerians disclosing that, in the next two weeks, Nigerians would begin to reap from the benefits of the closure of the border in multiple measures.