Nigerians will finally be able to purchase rice without much strain on their pockets as the Federal Government on Monday, 10 October, announced that the price of rice would begin to go down from November this year.
This, according to the government, is as a result of the fact that more Nigerians had gone back to their various farms, adding that at the coming harvesting season next month, the price of rice would start to fall.
The information was passed across by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, while addressing members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development at the headquarters of the Ministry in Abuja.
Chief Ogbeh made it known that the government would not be involved in the importation of rice as speculated in some quarters, maintaining the importation of rice will not receive the encouragement of his ministry because it would be in the detriment of local production of the commodity.
The Minister re-stated that the Federal Government was not in support of rice smuggling noting that the Seme border had become a notorious route for the smuggling of contraband products into the country.
“We will not encourage rice importation and there is no way our ministry or government can be involved in importing rice when we are working hard to be self-sufficient in local production. By November when the full-scale harvest starts, rice prices will fall.”
Although there was a warning from the government early September, that the price of rice might hit N40,000 per bag, it is presently being sold around N20,000.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, revealed that the $22 billion annual food import bill had led to the hike in the price of rice and other commodities.
He emphasised that if Nigerians do not produce some of the items being imported before December, the price of rice could increase to N40,000 a bag.