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Nigeria spends $260bn on rice importation annually – Nwosu

By on September 19, 2013

bags of rice being sold by the cupA former Executive Director, National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Abia, Dr Kenneth Nwosu, says Nigeria loses more than 260 billion dollars annually on rice importation.

Nwosu, a commissioner nominee, made the disclosure when he answered questions from members of the Abia House of Assembly during his screening in Umuahia on Wednesday.

“Presently, Nigeria import more than 5.3 metric tonnes of rice from Thailand annually and that amounts to over $260 billion.

“As a nation, we have the potential to even produce more than 100 metric tonnes of rice as well as other commodities because our land is fertile and can grow a lot of things,’’ he said.

Nwosu also advised the state government to key into agricultural policies of the Federal Government to boost food production in the state.

According to him, Nigeria can tackle the problems of insecurity and unemployment if youths embrace agriculture as a business.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 23 names were submitted to the house for clearance by Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia.

NAN reports that 12 nominees appeared before the house on Wednesday, while 11 others were screened on Sept. 17.

However, some of the nominees who had some pending issues were directed by the legislature to return on a later date.

The Speaker, Mr Ude Okochukwu, announced that those whose screenings were stood down would re-appear before the lawmakers on Sept. 23.

Okochukwu also said that the house would screen two nominees for the Civil Service Commission and State Independent Electoral Commission on Sept. 23. (NAN)