President Muhammadu Buhari says he is happy that Nigerians can buy relatively cheap Lake Rice (Lagos-Kebbi Rice) in this recession.
In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, on Friday, Buhari commended Lagos and Kebbi states for the successful partnership that gave rise to the local production of the commodity.
He saluted the commitment of Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos governor, and Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi governor, in bringing to fruition the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in March 2016 on substantially meeting the country’s rice requirement.
He also expressed delight “at the relatively cheaper price of Lake Rice especially at this period of recession”.
“It gladdens my heart to get reports of our citizens rushing to purchase this cheaper local rice to enable them and their families enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” the president said.
According to him, what the two states have done is “evidence of a new base being laid for the Nigerian economy, founded and propelled by agriculture, away from substantial dependence on oil and gas for national revenue”.
He recalled that in his 2017 budget presentation before the national assembly, he said that “a new era is rising in which we must grow what we eat and consume what we make”, adding that the Lake Rice achievement was in furtherance of the above goal.
While urging other state governments to replicate the laudable example of Lake Rice in other staple crops and dairy products, Buhari pledged the federal government’s readiness to continue to support such initiatives by providing the enabling environment, policies and incentives for agriculture to thrive in order for the nation to achieve food security.
He added that he remained optimistic that Nigeria would attain rice sufficiency by 2019.