By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA—THE Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, yesterday, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, over the reappointment of Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for another term in office.
Expressing appreciation over Buhari’s reappoint of Emefiele, the National President, RIFAN, Aminu Goronyo, said the action of the President was the right thing to do.
According to Goronyo, the reappointment ofEmefiele depicts his performance in enhancing the agricultural sector, particularly the rice industry, which had grown in leaps and bounds since 2016 till date via the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP.
He said: “We in Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari and his team for the reappointment of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, for another tenure. It is a great move by the President.
“It is a sign that Nigeria is becoming rice self-sufficient as well as the commencement of export of rice to other West African Countries, and it is a boost for the 54 agricultural commodities in the country. In fact, it is a good boost to the agricultural sector.
“We hope and pray for the CBN Governor for a successful tenure and for more achievement, and the world to celebrate him as we have celebrated him, and we are solidly behind him and continue to work with him for a successful tenure. We promise to support President Buhari and his government for this second term.
“In the first tenure of President Buhari agriculture as a whole became like the Nigerian oil industry with Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, because the President has given attention to the agricultural sector, particularly my sub-sector, which is rice.
“Everybody knows that from 2015 there was no importation of foreign rice into this country, and local production is boosted. Before 2015 our annual total production was 2.5 million metric tonnes to a maximum of 3.5 million metric tonnes. But today we are producing 8 million metric tonnes per annum.” Kebbi State alone produces 2 million metric tonnes of rice.
“With this, it is evident that this government has given attention to agriculture, which eventually generated a lot of employment, and the economy of those farmers boosted.”
He also stated that money spent on foreign rice importation from China, Thailand and India has ended, rather the money is now channelled into local production of rice by Nigerian farmers. “We grow the rice we eat and export as well.”
According to the RIFAN boss under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme 3.6 million Nigerians have been gainfully engaged including 5 million people have contacted the association to be members apart from the 12.2 million members of the association, which currently their request is being processed to become official members.