Emefiele cautions rice millers against price hike over border closure

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele speaks during the monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo


Following unprecedented increase in the prices of locally-produced rice as a result of border closure, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has appealed to rice millers, merchants and distributors to refrain from such acts, saying it’s very unpatriotic.Emefiele, who met with members of the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), merchants and distributors at the CBN Headquarters, in Abuja, yesterday also urged them to desist from hoarding the grain.

Noting that imported rice are usually laced with too much chemicals for preservation, which are not good for consumption, he  explained that the border closure was to promote economic growth, and ensure Nigeria attained food self-sufficiency in the rice value chain for the benefit and wellbeing of the citizens.

The CBN Governor had summoned the meeting with stakeholders in the rice value chain to fashion out ways of increasing rice production to discourage hoarding and price increase. He appealed to the rice millers to support government efforts in the value chain sector.He said: “hoarding rice with a view to increasing prices will only bring hardship to Nigerians, encourage rice smuggling that leads to capital flight and loss of jobs.”

He assured that CBN under his leadership will support rice millers in to stem smuggling in the country, and grow the rice sector for food self-sufficiency in the country. 

Emefiele called on all Nigerians to support the action on closure of the borders, saying that government took the decision in the best interest of Nigerians, as it is meant to secure the country and secure the health of the citizens from heavily chemicalised products that are injurious to health.

Responding on behalf of RIMAN, its Chairman, Peter Dama, assured the CBN Governor of members’ support for the border closure, and advised Government against succumbing to pressure to reverse the policy.He however canvassed for financial support for RIMAN members to build capacity and expand their milling activities in order to stimulate further growth in the rice sector. On pending applications for financial interventions from RIMAN members, Dama appealed for Emefiele’s intervention.

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