With Matthew Denis
The Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said Nigeria’s rice importation has dropped by over 80 per cent and that the country would be self-sufficient by next year.
He stated this while declaring open the 16th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), Africa Region in Abuja.
Osinbajo said, the success was attained as a result of the collaboration of the two arms of government who had worked harmoniously in the past two years.?
“In the last two years, Nigeria, which is the largest producer of rice in West Africa and the second largest importer of rice in the world has changed that story. Our rice import bill in 2014 was N1billion a month.
“Today, by a combination of progressive legislative appropriation to agriculture, and providing single digit credit, under our anchor borrowers programme for the purchase of right fertilizer quality and other inputs and credit, many rice farmers moved from getting yields of 3.5 metric tons per hectare to 7.5 mt per hectare”, he said.
The Acting President also stressed that the media don’t see the struggle to make things better in the nation but that they only see the trouble between the executives and legislature.
“On a lighter note, I don’t know the experience and belief the Presiding Officers from other nations present here have of the relationship between the executive and the legislature as a result of the portrayals by the press.
“Here in Nigeria what makes the news is conflict between the executive and the legislature”, he added.