BY DANIEL IDONOR
ABUJA — President Goodluck Jonathan, Tuesday, vowed to end importation of rice before the end of his tenure in 2015, saying the attainment of self-sufficiency in rice production by Nigeria was a top priority of his administration.
Speaking at a meeting with President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, Jonathan said domestic self-sufficiency in rice production was one of the major assignments he had given to the new Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
Jonathan said: “Before we leave office in 2015, we must stop the importation of rice. There is no reason why Nigeria should be importing rice. We have all that is needed to grow enough for domestic consumption and have a surplus we can export to other countries.”
Responding, Nwanze said IFAD had been cooperating with Nigerian governments since 1985 and was currently engaged in developing value chains for rice, cassava and other agricultural products in the country.
Commending the high priority given to agricultural development in President Jonathan’s Agenda for National Transformation, Dr Nwanze pledged that IFAD will continue to be strong partner of the Nigerian Government.