Sultan of Sokoto wants ban on importation of rice, vehicles relaxed

The Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, also the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslim, sits on his throne during his coronation ceremony in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, March 3, 2007. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA) - RTR1N1ZM

The Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar III, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to relax its ban on importation of rice and vehicles through land borders.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Sultan made the call when the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Sokoto.

“We will continue to serve as the voices of the voiceless and in this direction, we are calling on the federal government to look into some recent policies that will further tighten the noose on the necks of Nigerians.

”Nigerians are already going through difficult times and policies should not be taken to further aggravate the suffering of Nigerians.

”This will also avoid disharmony between the government and the governed,” he said.

Mr. Abubakar specifically cited the examples of the ban on the importation of rice and vehicles through land borders, saying ” the policies should be relaxed.”

The Sultan stressed that some of the policies were “still ill-timed”.

The monarch pledged to provide sustained support, prayers and wise counsel to the government, adding, “we will always work for the peace, unity, stability and the even socioeconomic development of Nigeria.

“We are also assuring the government of our sustained total support, loyalty and commitment”, and would work towards the spiritual and temporal development of Nigerians.

Mr. Abubakar congratulated Mr. Osinbajo at 60, welcoming him to “the club of the old people.”

Earlier, the acting president underscored the importance of Sokoto state in the affairs of Nigeria and pledged that the government would continue to pursue the development and agriculture and solid minerals to diversify the economy.

“The development of agriculture and agro-allied value chains are key in this direction.

“Sokoto state is in the forefront of agricultural revolution to bring back Nigeria on the path of sustainable development.

“Agencies of the federal government would continue to facilitate trade and commerce in the nation.”

NAN also reports that Mr. Osinbajo was accompanied on the visit by Gov. Aminu Tambuwal and Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Aishatu Abubakar, among others.(NAN)


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  • Ade Omowest

    Banning of Rice, tooth pick etc are not “ill-timed” sir. If we can not produce adequate local rice for consumption in our country, then we should consume Gaari, Tuwo (produced from maize), Amala, Akpu and other local staple foods. Importation of foreign rice should remain banned. Let us put pressures on Abakaliki, Ofada. Kebbi, Anambra rice farmers to get us out of this foreign rice addiction.

  • ilubarde

    It is rather shocking for His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, to continue to ‘plead’ for the re-opening of importation of rice through land borders. It is well known that Nigerian land borders traversed thousands of kilometers over land, rivers, forests, deserts, swamps, creeks, deserts, etc. Nigeria does not have the material or knowledge capacities to effectively police these borders. Consequently, most of these items are sadly being dumped on Nigeria through our neigbouring countries of Togo, Benin, Niger, etc. The result is local agriculture is killed throwing, in particular, the Sultan’s immediate constituency of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara into unemployment and general poverty. It was difficult to challenge the Sultan when he first made this his weird idea public, because at that time Nigerians had not seen the positive impact of the ban of rice importation through land borders. Today, we have seen the very laudable development that has impacted on the agricultural sector generally and rice production, in particular. Thousands of rice farmers in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Yobe, Jigawa have all been beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s Rice Policy. It is therefore very inexplicable for the Sultan to still plead for the reversal of a laudable program whose benefits are visible. We urge the Sultan to be very close to his masses. Ask them. They would tell you that they are happy with this policy. If that is the case, whose interests is the Sultan advancing? Could it be the interests of the smugglers?

    • Adam A

      Well said

  • thusspokez

    Mr. Abubakar specifically cited the examples of the ban on the importation of rice and vehicles through land borders, saying ” the policies should be relaxed.”

    I don’t know who ‘Head Bandage’ thinks he is, but if he wants to interfere in politics then he should take off his head bandage and join politics, otherwise, if he continues to abuse or misuse his privilege position to interfere in politics, then he should expect critics, enemies and politicians to reciprocate and interfere in his traditional role and affairs — something, he wouldn’t like, I am sure. I would therefore advice him to take from the lesson learnt by the royal families in Europe and learn to shut up and stay out of politics!