Uche Usim, Abuja
With the closure of the nation’s land borders and opening of wider market opportunities for local businessmen, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday asked rice farmers not to increase the price of the staple food in the interest of Nigerians.
The apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement in Abuja, on Monday, beckoned on the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) and other stakeholders in the value chain not to hoard rice to create artificial scarcity and its attendant price hike.
The Nigerian government closed its borders on August 20 via an operation tagged Exercise Swift Response in an effort to sanitize the land frontiers and curb smuggling.
Emefiele said the federal government took the action to promote the growth of the economy and to make sure that the nation achieves food self-sufficiency as far as rice production is concerned.
The CBN governor maintained that the closure was done for the benefit and well-being of the people as most of the “imported rice had chemicals for preservation”.
He said there is a need to increase rice production, promising that the CBN would support the rice millers to stem off smuggling in the country and grow the rice sector for food self–sufficiency.
The CBN governor called on the citizens to support the border closure, saying the government took the decision in their best interest.