Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, has queried the wisdom behind selling a bag of rice above N15,000, calling it an unpatriotic act.
The minister gave a breakdown of the cost of producing rice in the country, saying that with paddy rice sold at N8,500 and cost of processing N2,000, it was exploitative for the product to be sold for between N17,000 and N18,000 per bag.
Mr Nanono made the statement during a working visit to rice farms and mills of Stallion Group Popular Farms and Mills Limited. The minister added that the border closure had spurred local production of the commodity which is a staple in Nigeria. The minister said with the improved production rate, Nigerian rice was bound to compete favourably in the global market the moment the country begins to export the product.
The minister said, “I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000. The same paddy rice is sold at N8,500 and maximum processing expense is N2,000, making a total of N10,500. It is unpatriotic to sell a bag more than N14,000 to N 15000.”