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Nigeria needs N428.9bn supply of rice to shore up local production capacity

Tunde Ayodele

Despite the Federal Government’s hard determination to grow indigenous capacity in rice production, Nigeria may not achieve self -sufficiency in the item until 2022.
This is because the country still needs some 1.8million tonnes valued at N428.9billion ($912.6million) to meet local consumption.
A tonne is currently sold at $507 at the Thailand export market.
Also, there has been a drop in rice production by 315,000 metric tonnes valued at N75.1billion ($159.7million).
It was learnt that the country still depends on smuggled rice from neighbouring country, Benin to meet local consumption despite the assurance by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, that the country would begin to export rice to other countries by 2022.

However, statistics by a global trade portal Index Mundi revealed that the country imported 1.8million tonnes or 28 percent of local consumption last year, while local production of the grain dropped by 6.25 percent from 5.04million tonnes to 4.7million tonnes in the period.

The government has been making substantial efforts for a decade to encourage rice cultivation in order to eliminate imports through subsidised loans, cheap fertiliser, free farmland and tax rebates.

Also, the Federal Government had made moves to attract N250 billion investments in rice production following plans to establish an additional 14 rice mills in the country.

However, efforts to boost domestic production have been curtailed by smuggling through the porous borders.

Between January and April 2021, the Federal Operation Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos seized 41,652 bags of 50kilogrammes smuggled parboiled rice from Idiroko and  Ipokia in Ogun State and Lagos.

Also in Ogun State, 20,538 bags of rice were intercepted by the service between March and April 2021.

Last year, the Federal Government and the Republic of Benin entered into an agreement in Abuja to end the smuggling of rice.

The agreement was sealed between a delegation from Benin, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.

It was gathered that 80 percent of the smuggled grain was imported through Benin as Thailand price stood at $507 per tonne.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Maifata has said that smuggling of foreign rice would soon come down to zero levels, while the local rice would fill the gap conveniently if farmers received the necessary support from the government.

He however urged all stakeholders to join in the campaign against the activities of smugglers through advocacy and sensitisation to ensure attitudinal change on the part of the outlaws.

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Headlines

IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola

 

— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

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Customs

Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali

 

–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Headlines

Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG

 

The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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