Lagos - John Osemede, Director-General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), says Nigeria has the capacity to produce enough quantity of rice to meet its needs.
Osemede told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that importation of rice was, therefore, a waste of resources and should be discouraged.
“Last year, we had a huge increase in the price of rice due to the floods and other challenges relating to insecurity and cost of importation.
“Nigeria has the land mass and the capacity to produce rice and other agricultural produce, so we have no business importing it.
“As for the machinery for processing of rice and other foods, we do not have the engineering capacity yet, so those can be imported,” he said.
Osemede said that the value chain in agriculture should be improved on as this would help to control poverty in the country.
He urged the Federal Government to find means of reducing the quantity of imported rice now and then subsequently ban its importation.
NAN reports that Mr Goodie Ibru, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce (LCCI), had earlier advised the Federal Government to provide more support to local rice producers.
He had that that the call was necessary in order to boost large-scale rice production in the country.