By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja (NAN) The Federal Government has acquired 110 rice milling machines to be installed in different parts of the country, between now and July, to boost rice production across the country.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, confirmed this development on his Facebook page on Monday, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the presidential aide was quoted at the weekend as saying that Nigeria was the second largest producer of rice in the world.
Shehu, quoting an investigative media reports, revealed that 48,000 new millionaires had emerged in Kebbi State alone last year, for growing rice
According to him, Nigeria has just achieved the record of the second largest producer of rice in the world, following a “rice revolution started just a year ago”.
“A newspaper did an investigation in Kebbi and found out that there were 48,000 new millionaires in Kebbi State alone last year for growing rice.
“This over reliance on oil has killed this country and we cannot continue like this. So, the diversification of the economy means more money will be in the hands of ordinary Nigerians.
And there will be widespread prosperity all over the country.”
The presidential aide maintained that Nigerians should be proud of the ongoing agricultural revolution in the country.
Shehu, however, stated that officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture would soon come up with the latest development on rice production in the country.
The statement on the facebook page read: “We are not the first to say that Nigeria has grown to the second position in rice production worldwide.
“The CNN, which is not a frivolous news source, said this. We have reason to believe them because of their global reach.
“While we wait the numbers from the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, we are collating our own figures and in the coming weeks, the officials in the Ministry of Agriculture will be coming up with our own position on rice production.
“Don’t forget that since October last year, Nigeria has been feeding many parts of West, North and Central Africa.
“Many of these countries have been shopping in Nigeria for rice, sorghum, sesame and millet.
“To support the growing rice industry, the Federal Government just acquired 110 rice milling machines which will be installed in different parts of the country between now and July.
“A lot is happening in Nigeria for which we should be proud.’’