CBN Says Rice Did Not Get Dollar Allocation In 2018
Nigerians are still searching for local and well refined rice in different stores in markets, especially those in Lagos, but are yet to find them.
Despite this reality in Lagos State, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the volume of rice importation into Nigeria (in metric tonnes) has declined drastically in 2018, judging by figures obtained from various official sources.
The spokesman for the apex bank, Mr Isaac Okorafor, Director, Mr Isaac Okorafor, Director, made the claim in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Okorafor said that figures obtained from India and Thailand, (dominant rice exporters to Nigeria) indicate that as at September, Thailand had so far exported about 5,161 [103,220 bags of 50kg each] metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria, while India sold only 426 [8,520 bags of 50kg each] as at July.
Attributing the reduction to concerted efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the interventions of the CBN, he said that the Bank had not allocated any foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year.
"The figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic assumptions such as satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election campaigns and expected losses from flooding.
"All of these led to unauthentic conclusions that the country had imported or could import 400,000 more metric tonnes.”
Okorafor added that the combined figure of 5,587 tonnes of rice imports from India and Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis.
While these figures are released, rice farmers in some parts of Nigeria have lost their investments as sacrifice for the feeding of the cattle of marauding herdsmen.
Their activities have also forced some farmers to abandon their farms just to stay alive.