By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Chairman of the Bureau De Change Operators Association in Sokoto state, Aliyu Yar Abba has criticised government’s ban on rice importation to Nigeria through land borders, appealing at the same time that the federal government lifts the ban in the meantime.
Reacting to the development in Sokoto on Monday, Yar Abba observed that although the policy was a good one, “It is ill-timed. It should have come at a time when the country can proudly boast of producing domestic rice to the level of self-sufficiency.”
He suggested that if the ban is sustained, “it will only encourage more smuggling activities across Nigerian borders.”
Stressing the need to revamp the nation’s agricultural sector, Yar Abba advised the federal government to empower farmers in the country in order to produce adequate rice at subsistence and commercial level.
“Nigeria stands to boost its revenue sources from the present oil-dependent one if the sector gets the attention it deserves,” he said adding that state governments should follow the footsteps of President Buhari in promoting agriculture for food security.