The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has appealed to members of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) and other stakeholders in the rice value chain not to increase the price of rice over border closure.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor said this in a statement issued and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja by Mr Muhammed Tijani, Media Assistant to RIMAN’s Chairman.
Emefiele also called on them not to hoard rice as a result of the closure of the borders in order to increase the price, adding that such acts were unpatriotic.
The CBN governor said that the border closure was meant to promote the growth of the Nigerian economy and ensure that the country attained food self-sufficiency in the rice value chain.
He said that this was for the benefit and wellbeing of the citizenry.
He said that imported rice into the country was chemicalised for preservation, therefore not good for the consumption.
Emefiele said that there was a need to increase rice production and discourage hoarding leading to a price increase while calling on rice millers to support government’s effort in the rice value chain sector.
He said that hoarding rice with a view to increasing the prices of rice would bring hardship to Nigerians.
He said that the CBN under his leadership would support rice millers to stem off smuggling in the country and grow the rice sector for food self–sufficiency.
Emefiele called on Nigerians to support the government action on the closure of the border, adding that government took the decision in the best interest of Nigerians as it was meant to secure the country.
He said that this would also secure the health of the citizenry from heavily chemicalised products that were injurious to the health of the country.
Mr Peter Dama, the RIMAN Chairman assured the CBN of the supports of its members on the Federal Government’s action on border closure.
He said that its members would not succumb to pressure to reverse the policy on borders’ closure.
He urged the CBN for financial support to build capacity and expand milling activities to stimulate further growth in the rice sector.