Nigeria has saved over $600m dollars (N216bn) from the importation of rice alone from Thailand and other countries since the nation’s domestic mass production flooded the markets under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The figure represents a fraction of a staggering $22bn (N7.92tr) spent on importation of foods into the country annually in the past.
The Executive Director, Risk Management and Finance, Bank of Agriculture, Prince Niyi Akenzua, disclosed this when he led a delegation of top officials of the bank on a courtesy call to Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
Akenzua said they embarked on advocacy visit around the country to enlist the support and involvement of state governments in the Programme, which, he said, had freed the country from reliance on importation of rice.
The ED said that the state could choose a particular crop it wished to produce under the programme, with a promise to either co-fund or completely fund the production of such crop.
In his response, the governor commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, stating that the fundamental problem besetting the country was attitudinal, stressing that the country was not bereft of knowledge, policies and programmes capable of boosting its economy.