Federal Government not importing GMO rice, says Presidency

By Ben Adam Shemang

The Federal Government has described as extremely uncharitable, the claim by ‘unscrupulous individuals’ on social media, that the government and Dangote group plan to ‘flood’ the country with genetically modified rice (GMO) .

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina explained in  a statement that “in real terms, the Federal Government  in 2014 signed a $1billion Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) for investment in integrated rice project  with Dangote Industries Ltd. Further to this agreement, Dangote Industries Limited this year cultivated over 8,000 hectares in Hadejia, Jigawa state, creating over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for farmers who are the major beneficiaries of the scheme.”

Mr Adesina added that in consolidation of the rice project by the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari administration is also in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other reputable companies to tap into the vast potentials in the private sector and broaden the economic base of the country.

“The gains of the diversification drive especially in the Agriculture sector are already yielding dividends as shown by the recent statistics in the sector as published by the National Bureau of Statistics.

It is therefore ridiculous that a government that is wholly devoted to the generation of employment for Nigerians especially through Agriculture will turn around to get involved in an activity that will reverse the gains of the same partnership,” he said

Adesina said President Muhammadu Buhari has always insisted that ‘’we have the capacity to feed ourselves in Nigeria and even export from what we produce in the country. He has also said that through the provision of N200 billion by the CBN for small holder farmers and processors involved in local production of rice and other grains, rice importation  will hopefully stop  in the next three years.”