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Ban Rice Imports For 5 Years and Save $2.6 Billion Yearly – Former Minister Tells FG

Business watch - May 26, 2015

A former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Charles Ugwuh has said the federal government can save $2.6 billion annually by declaring a 5-year ban on the importation of rice, while also calling on the government to intensify efforts at producing enough of the commodity rice locally to meet domestic demand.
According to him, within the given five year period, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) should protect the nation’s local rice output against smugglers.
“All hands should be on deck by the financial sector, local distributive trade, all agencies of government, as well as all stakeholders to support the national initiative on rice,” Ugwuh said.
“If we drive this to success, it would encourage even greater success and confidence to tackling other products and programmes that are relevant to prosperity and the nation’s well-being,” he added.
Ugwuh, who spoke in Abuja,  made a strong case for a viable reward system, that would encourage people to strive towards enforcement and compliance by agencies of government,  stressing compliance with the measure will help grow the nation’s economy.
He said: “We can grow rice and save over $2.6 billion per year that we currently spend on rice imports,” pointing out that Nigeria could be self-sufficient in rice production in no time.
 
 

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