No Ban On Rice Importation – FG

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The Federal Government has denied banning the importation of rice into the country
The minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who said this in an interview with newsmen, shortly after a meeting with the  management of Notore Chemical Industry at Onne, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, however, said that rice importation will no longer be allowed through the land boarders to check the activities of arms smugglers.
The minister also said that the government was working hard to ensure that the nation is self-sufficient in rice production by 2018.
Ogbeh said that Nigerians must begin to think of producing what they want, adding that the era when the country relied on the importation of every consumable goods from abroad was gone.
He gave a breakdown of some goods being imported by Nigerians to include eggs from South Africa, tomatoes past  from Brazil and biro, pen from Indonesia, adding that the present administration was focused on encouraging local production of these goods.
Ogbeh also said that the ministry will meet with the management of the company to work out an appropriate way of addressing the issue of fertilizer subsidy for farmers in the country, and commended the company for its continuous stay in business in spite of the  harsh economic environment in the country.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Notore Chemical Industry, Mr Onajitele Okoloke said that the company was targeting the production of 1.5million tons of urea annually with a view to increasing the yields of three million farmers in the country.
Okoloke also listed some challenges facing the company to include the issue of security and  availability of gas.
He pledged the company’s readiness to assist the  government in its desire to bring back the lost glory of agriculture in the country.
The minister was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Agriculture,. Senator Heineken Lokpobiri.