Tambuwal says waiver on rice importation hampers local production

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, on Thursday said that the current waiver regime being enjoyed by rice importers was hampering local production and should be phased out.

Tambuwal made the observation while receiving the new Area Comptroller of Customs in Sokoto, Mohammad Kabiru.

He said that preliminary studies indicated that in spite of efforts to boost local rice production, unfavourable government policies, especially on waiver to importers, became impediment to states’ objectives to achieve local self-sufficiency.

Tambuwal said the quality of rice produced locally was of international standard and far better than many of the ones imported into the country.

He said government would continue to support farmers in the rice producing areas to enable them to acquire standard facilities for processing their produce.

He explained that the College of Agriculture, Wurno, was purely established to produce manpower needed for active participation of farmers.

He said that state-of-the-art equipment and farming inputs would be provided for the smooth take off of the programme.

Tambuwal said the country had the necessary input to produce enough rice to meet local needs and export same.

“We have the potential to meet Africa’s rice needs,” he added.

He said Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and other rice-farming states would team up and present a common demand to the Federal Government, to ensure development of the product locally and nationally.

While commending the Nigeria Customs Service for its role in law enforcement, Tambuwal said his administration would assist the customs area office to achieve its set objectives.

Earlier, the Area Comptroller praised the harmonious working relationship between the service and states under his command.

He said Kabiru said the command collected about N86 million as revenue in July.

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