Rebranding the battered image of our country is one of the major preoccupations of the Government. That was why we launched the “Inspiring Country Actions”segment of the Rebrand Nigeria Campaign last week, to be able to capture all the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in changing the ugly narratives about our country, Nigeria.
Today, we are happy to report the Government’s achievement in the Rice Revolution, which has received enormous positive remarks from both Nigerians and the international community.
Nigeria used to be the world’s second largest rice importer but today, it has taken the front seat as Africa’s largest rice producer. Africa produces an average of 14.6 million tonnes of rice annually with Nigeria producing 8 million tonnes. Yes, the big shift became possible over a short period of time because of the government’s bold steps to ramp up domestic production.
As disclosed by Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, Director General of the Africa Rice Center, Benin Republic, this remarkable achievement recorded by Nigeria in rice production was the outcome of a collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture that focused on areas where the country had a comparative advantage, in their quest to drastically reduce the Nigeria’s huge import bill.
Currently the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government are making substantial efforts to encourage more domestic cultivation of rice and to completely eliminate importation using incentives such as: subsidized loans, cheap fertilizers, free farm lands, and tax rebates.
At the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa, we commend the government for this bold step and hope to see more of these inspiring country actions in the future.