The President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo on Wednesday revealed that Nigeria consumes N1.2 billion worth of rice daily, even as he emphasized that the country has attained self sufficiency in rice production.
Speaking at a briefing in Abuja,
Goronyo said the feat was achieved because of the aggression with which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pursued the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) on rice cultivation and processing.
“From 2015 till date, no single naira was converted to dollar to bring in rice. All the rice is grown and processed locally. So we’ve attained sufficiency.
He thus decried an attack on CBN via a published advertorial signed by one Christoper Gajere who alluded to the fact that the apex bank was heavily indebted to RIFAN contractors.
Goronyo said there was no such thing as CBN-RIFAN ABP contractors as contained in the advertorial.
He said RIFAN does not deal with individuals but corporate organizations as regards supplies of inputs and other contracts.
“One Christopher Gajere wrote an open letter to Mr President to say that the supplies he made, CBN has not paid him.
“So, our attention was drawn to it. We checked the publication and we discovered that name is not among our 25 input suppliers and five service providers. We do not deal with individuals but corporate organizations. It shows the guy covered himself.
“All he quoted shows that a true RIFAN supplier cannot have such information because he has no business with CBN. It’s RIFAN that engages suppliers or service providers. They don’t have link with CBN. Our members can’t have such capacity.
It’s information from a sad quarter due to the successes of four or five years of ABP.
“We are happy with CBN’s achievements. Whoever the person is, he has decided not to follow due process. He has to exhaust all processes and avenues to engage RIFAN.
“No single member has come to complain of delayed payment.
Whoever did that jumped the processes and procedures and it is unfortunate.
“On behalf of national officers, and with contacts made with members, we’ve totally distanced ourselves from the publication.
It’s an attempt to scuttle the efforts made to halt rice importation, saved billions of dollars and created thousands of jobs”, Goronyo stated.
He added that any effort to discredit the ABP and other revolutionary programmes in the agriculture sector will be futile because the achievements speak for themselves.
“He’s late to make a mess of our success at RIFAN. If he’s trying to attack the CBN management, it’s also late because we can all see. The name is a combination of north and South name and it’s fake.
“From 2015, all rice eaten is grown here. CBN deserves support and should be portrayed as one that has supported the economy in growth.
We’ve achieved a lot via CBN support.
“Even if CBN does not pay, we won’t complain. That’s the position of our members”, the RIFAN President added.