The National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Aminu Goronyo, says the closure of Nigeria’s land borders is not to enrich rice farmers but to encourage patriotism.
Goronyo told journalists during an interactive session in Sokoto on Tuesday that the border closure was for the good of the country and the entire citizenry.
“We have realised many successes by the border closure resulting in the saving of about N300 billion from the annual rice importation to Nigeria. Today, we are no longer dependent on the rice we consume in the country with only N80 billion to produce locally on an annual basis.
“Before 2015, Nigeria spent nothing less than N368 billion for rice importation but today that same money is in circulation within the country’s business community.
“Moreover, the border closure is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s patriotic gesture and encouraging Nigerians to follow suit.
“However, the closure is not to enrich rice farmers but a devotion to the welfare of the country and commitment to compete with other nations,” he said.
Goronyo urged Nigerians to continue to be encouraged with the border closure, saying it would eventually be for the development of the country.
“It is time we realise the need for our country to be independent of food than enriching people from other countries and increasing poverty and unemployment among our people. Nigerian farmers are producing more than the country’s consumption today, as such, we should continue to encourage and commend the government on the effort,” he said.
Goronyo commended the efforts of companies and agencies working toward ensuring global standards and self-sufficiency in rice production in the country.