The current waiver regime enjoyed by rice importers is hampering local production of the commodity and should be phased out by the Nigerian government, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has stated.
Mr. Tambuwal gave the advice when he received the new Customs Area Controller for Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states, Muhammad Kabir.
The governor said preliminary studies undertaken showed that despite efforts to boost local rice production, unfavourable government policies such as rice import waivers were the impediments to objectives of achieving local self-sufficiency.
The position taken by the Sokoto governor is similar to the one taken by the Nigerian Senate recently on the same matter.
Mr. Tambuwal also said that the quality of rice produced locally is of international standard and far better than many imported into the country. He said his administration would continue to support farmers in rice production to enable them acquire standard facilities that will process their produce.
“We have the potential to meet Africa’s rice needs,” he added.
He said governments of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and other rice farming states will team up and present a common demand to the federal government to ensure development of the product in the country.
While commending the Customs Service for its role in law enforcement in the federation, Mr. Tambuwal said his administration will assist the agency to achieve its objectives.
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