From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu who is also Vice-Chairman of the National Food Security Council, has described the rice pyramid displayed in Abuja as a sign of confidence on Nigeria’s economy as well as capacity of local farmers who are working hard to sustain agriculture revolution.
Bagudu stated this while speaking with newsmen after courtesy visit by the management of the Wacot Rice Mill, led by it’s Chief Executive Officer/Chairman, Alhaji Faruk Gumel.
The Governor noted that, the demonstration of the paddy rice in form of pyramid, which was done in Kebbi, Ekiti, Abuja and that would be done in other South-South states are to tell the whole word that our people have the capacity to produce what the nation needs.
He said:” Nigeria is not an island, it is part of the world. When something affecting the world, it would affect Nigeria. Energy prices have been increasing in Nigeria. Most of you know that quite often, farmers use petroleum to power their water pumps.
“While often, they buy these water pumps that are imported from other parts of the world. These water pumps used to be sold at cost of N17,000 but now, they are selling it N48,000.
” A good police should be able to reward hardworking men and women. So, we want Nigeria farmers to be rich. So, any policy that is putting more money in their pockets, is a good policy. If they think rice is very expensive, let them enter farms, contribute to the production and making money”.
Bagudu said that, the prices of cars, cements have increased more than 70% since last year, when Nigerians are not complained and ready to pay more to the car manufacturers.
He said: ” but prices of rice has not increased, may be not up to 10%. Again, COVID 19 has caused complications. Many production have reduced and prices are bound to be affected. But we must be grateful.
“These Rice pyramid, illustrate what is happening around the country. We have had the rice festival in Ekiti state, we are going to the South-South states, we had it Kebbi state. This is a way of showing confidence in ourselves that we believe in the capacity of ourselves and our people at the lower income status who are embracing government policies. And they are making it to work”.
He also commend the Management of Wacot for empowering about 300 women farmers in milling processing of the rice locally, stressed that the local milling industries would not be at lost as a result of modern rice millers proliferations.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of Wacot, Alhaji Faruk Gumel disclosed that the company are expanding the factory capacity with additional 120,000 metrics tonnes per day, making their capacity to 240,000 tonnes per day.
He added that, the when the second phase are fully completed within 15-17 months, they would employed more labour and injected more inputs.