Agriculture pulling Nigeria out of recession – Presidency

Rice Farmers
Photo Credit: Agro Nigeria
Rice Farmers
Photo Credit: Agro Nigeria

The presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, says efforts to get the nation out of its present economic challenges are beginning to yield positive results, especially in agriculture.

The presidential aide said this in Abuja on Sunday.

According to him, an increase in the volume of rice production and processing across the country is already saving the country a lot of foreign exchange.

Mr. Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, said that Nigeria only imported 58,000 tons of rice from Thailand in 2015 as against 1.2 million tons in 2014.

He revealed that due to the country’s growing rice production occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to deny foreign exchange for the importation of rice “parboiled rice mills’’ in some Asian countries were shutting down production.

According to him, this is because Nigeria, which is one of the world’s largest importers of rice no longer, buys rice from them.

“Five of such mills in Thailand servicing Nigeria have stopped production due to the withdrawal of our patronage,” he added.

According to him, government is watching with keen interest the growing investment in rice milling by the private sector.

He said government would continue to encourage the Ministry of Agriculture on such efforts through BUA Industries in Jigawa and Dangote in Kano.

He said such encouragement would also be extended to OLAM and WACOTT in Nasarawa and Kebbi as well as a consortium of businessmen led by a former governor in Anambra.

The presidential aide noted with delight that the price of a bag of fertilizer had been reduced from over N9,000 per bag to 5,500.

“This country has about 32 fertilizer blending plants that have remained idle for many years, but that about half of that number is now in production with many of them running three shifts a day.”

He said some of the blending plants have now provided direct employment to hundreds of workers and indirect employment opportunities to thousands of others.

Mr. Shehu said that the Buhari administration’s agricultural revolution was bringing about other socio-economic changes in the country.

He said that a recent survey carried out in two urban areas of Jigawa and Kiyawa showed that jobless young men were migrating from commercial motorcycle business known as, `achaba’, to farming.

“In Kiyawa, it takes a long wait to catch a commercial motor cycle because they are rapidly disappearing.

“The young men are moving to the farms. These are development issues in the country that our media should pay attention,” he added.

The presidential spokesman frowned at the way and manner some elites have continued to attack some government policies and programmes in spite of their positive impact on the ordinary Nigerians.

“Because the elite don’t care for ordinary people, they are saying that government is doing nothing but we are doing a lot for ordinary people.

“They don’t want us to talk about the 14 solar power projects that have been licensed to boost electricity supply in the country; the Mambila power project which will soon leave the drawing board and the many Chinese projects including the standard gauge railway.

“This country has more important things to talk about instead of dwelling on trivialities,” Mr. Shehu said.


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  • Du Covenant

    This is he way to go!. We must learn to consume what we have locally and pay dearly if for some reason you acquire the taste for things made elsewhere.

    • Otile

      What has Mohamed Buhari achieved since the past one year and ten months he took the positions of president and minister of petroleum? The man is a waste of space. Quota system has set Nigeria back badly.

      • jon

        Did you read the news before you ask questions? God have mercy

      • Karl Imom

        Obasanjo was President and Oil Minister for 8 years. What did he achieve? Renovated Operation feed the Nation, now called Ota Farms, built Obasanjo Presidential Library, and Bells University? All with tax payers money? Maybe, Buhari should be building a personal University, Personal Library, and be coverting some government farm projects to personal acquisitions. God bless you!

      • Du Covenant

        Nigeria can never be fixed within a year and ten months!. For you to expect magic from Buhari since he became the President is being economical with the truth. So the revelations of all the looting that took place on GEJ’s watch does not say anything to you?.

      • Galantman

        Get a life. Those myopic opinions no longer sale. It’s now glaring that we are moving in the right direction by feeding ourselves. If people like you can’t see any develop, we are not surprised, it’s in your DNA to make this country dependent on foreign imports, so that your subversive business of illigal smuggling will flourish.
        If you cannot stand the achievements made by this government, jump into the lagoon

        • Du Covenant

          Very well said!..for such enemies within, it just has to be chaotic because this when they thrive.

    • aboki

      The called for AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION has been embraced and embibed by all and sundry with simple requinacance across Nigeria.
      With food security 50% of the nation’s problems is solved and diversification programs enhanced as away forward
      Nigeria we hail thee!

      • Karl Imom

        We must also fight to bring back our old “National Anthem”.

        • Du Covenant

          I couldn’t agree with you more!.

  • LionHeart

    One of the biggest mistakes Nigeria made in the 70s was to abandon agriculture as an economic powerhouse. Nigeria can make it big as a nation if we go into large scale agricultural production where we can start exporting our produce.

  • Shehu Monguno

    THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
    POLICY

    Report Highlights:
    The Central Bank of Nigeria continues to restrict access to foreign exchange in an effort to reduce rapid spending of U.S. dollars outside of Nigeria. This restriction is hindering all direct imports, including food and agricultural products.

    Post estimates that Nigeria’s MY2016/17 wheat imports will decline by 5 percent to 4.1 million tons. MY2016/17 rice imports are expected to fall 400,000 tons to 2.1 million tons.

    Declines in corn production are expected to increase MY2016/17 imports to 400,000 tons, a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

    Sorghum consumption is raised due to sustained demand as substitutes for higher priced grains, such as corn, wheat, a
    and rice. Of the grains discussed, sources note that overall production will not change significantly, despite stalled implementation of government policies, poor infrastructure, and restricted access to fertilizer.

  • www.electionoffenders.ng

    Positive news.

    Well done.

  • Jb

    See it loud Shehu, for the first time in the history of Nigeria electricity generation has been above 4000MW steady for over 30 days. Biafrauds if you are in doubt, go to Electricity system operators site and see for yourselves. Again all the refineries are producing no more fraud call subsidy. in fact those who collected the subsidy fraud are paying back and going to jail. Nigeria is gradually changing. Sai Baba.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Imagin if Ijaw pipeline vandals did not damage Oil & gas pipelines, which reduced Oil out put to 600,000PB when oil price was as low as $28PB.
      There would have been more gas to power the Power Plants & more money to invest in food production, Roads, Schools & Hospitals.

  • Concerned

    Amazing statistics – qualitative evidence of real change
    Well done

  • dele20

    Multi-diversification of economy especially agriculture is pulling Nigeria out of economic recession, if we Nigerians can wholeheartedly support this present administration, our country will never remain the same. God bless Nigeria

  • dele20

    Nigeria is getting there