Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa has said that like the success story on cement importation, Nigeria will stop importation of rice soon.
Abubakar made the statement in Abuja while answering questions from reporters on the way out of the economic recession in Nigeria.
He said successive governments should have stopped importation on some products because the recession gave signal since 2013.
He said the only way to come out of the present recession was to be competitive in the market and develop the farmer in technology and techniques.
”On this recession, you have to look at the history; we had signals towards the end of 2013 to 2014, it’s been there.
”We knew that it was coming but the past leaders did nothing to stop it.
“The problem with the past leaders was that they should have started cutting these expenditures from time.,’’ the governor said.
He lauded the decision of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in the cement sector, saying: “what Obasanjo did with cement was good; we stopped importation of cement into Nigeria.
”Why do we have to import rice? Why do we have to import maize? Why do we have to import wheat? Why do have to import milk?
”At the time the going was good the government was supposed to give credible intervention for us like what Obasanjo did with cement to handle the production of rice. It’s no magic.
”In Jigawa today, most of the farmers that we put in our clusters are getting 7.5 tonnes per hectare and then we’ll be open for competition and that way in time we’ll be able to take care of the rice importation in this country because we can now produce competitively.’’
He said that with the approach adopted by the Jigawa government, the importation of rice would not be attractive.
‘‘Even if our borders are open, rice, they will not match us in price because also we develop our farmers with good technology and techniques for them to produce competitively.
‘”We have started it, Kebbi also is doing very well on rice also and many other states are doing very well in increasing the profitability and the competitiveness of our people.
”This is so that even if you open our borders our product will be at good price and the farmers will be happy they will make some profit and that is what we are doing.”
The governor recalled that the former minister of finance, a week ago, decried the lack of saving culture on the part of the former administration.
”She said because there was no saving culture in the past administration, that is why we are in the trouble we are in.
”Saudi Arabia today is on reserve. They are projecting to spend about a hundred billion dollars to stabilise their currency and their economy because of the downturn.
”That is why we have to have the culture of savings and that is why we have to have the culture of savings. They simply did not save.
”We are starting to be competitive so that we’ll be sustainable. Any company that is not in line with international competitiveness might not succeed,” he said.