Stakeholders in the rice value chain have expressed worry over the reopening of the land border, adding that it will affect both their investment and food self-sufficiency in the country.
In an exclusive chat with our Correspondent, the National Chairman of the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), Mr. Peter Dama, explained that if the borders are reopened and rice is allowed into the country, it is going to affect what has been achieved in terms of progress so far made in the attempt to have food self-sufficiency particularly in the rice sector.
Dama insisted that the reopening will not only affect rice but all other agricultural produce in the country. The government, he said, came with a slogan that the country should produce what it can eat, hence allowing easy passage of these things across the border will have both health hazard on the citizen and negative impact on the investment of the millers and others in the rice value chain.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has urged the Federal Government to immediately re-open all land borders closed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, on 20 August 2019.
This is part of the resolutions of a virtual dialogue to examine the challenges, consequences, impact and matters arising from the Nigeria border closure and the dynamics of COVID-19 organised by NANTS, Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), GIZ SEDIN, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) and signed by the NANTS President, Dr. Ken Ukaoha.