Several efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to boost rice production in Nigeria may have yielded desired results.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, citing official sources, the volume of rice imported into Nigeria within this year has declined drastically.

NAN reports that the Director, Corporate Communications at CBN, Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement on Tuesday.

Okorafor said by September, Nigeria had imported 5,161 metric tonnes of rice from Thailand and 426 metric tonnes of rice from India as of July — amounting to less than 6,000 metric tonnes in 2018.

The CBN spokesman said this was against the 400,000 metric tonnes being bandied around due to “expected demand by politicians for election campaigns”.

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He attributed the reduced imports to “concerted efforts” by the ministry of agriculture and rural development and the interventions of the CBN.

Okorafor said the ministry and the CBN had been collaborating to reduce the volume of rice importation through the “rice revolution”.

He explained that the apex bank had not allocated any foreign exchange for the importation of rice in 2018, adding that the imports from Thailand and India were done on “not-valid-for-forex basis”.

“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,” the statement quoted Okorafor as saying.

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