Tag Archives: Nigeria food

Nigeria – presidency says agriculture pulling the county out of recession

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Rice Farmers
Photo Credit: Agro Nigeria

Rice Farmers
Photo Credit: Agro Nigeria

The presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, says efforts to get the nation out of its present economic challenges are beginning to yield positive results, especially in agriculture.

The presidential aide said this in Abuja on Sunday.

According to him, an increase in the volume of rice production and processing across the country is already saving the country a lot of foreign exchange.

Mr. Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, said that Nigeria only imported 58,000 tons of rice from Thailand in 2015 as against 1.2 million tons in 2014.

He revealed that due to the country’s growing rice production occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to deny foreign exchange for the importation of rice “parboiled rice mills’’ in some Asian countries were shutting down production.

According to him, this is because Nigeria, which is one of the world’s largest importers of rice no longer, buys rice from them.

“Five of such mills in Thailand servicing Nigeria have stopped production due to the withdrawal of our patronage,” he added.

According to him, government is watching with keen interest the growing investment in rice milling by the private sector.

He said government would continue to encourage the Ministry of Agriculture on such efforts through BUA Industries in Jigawa and Dangote in Kano.

He said such encouragement would also be extended to OLAM and WACOTT in Nasarawa and Kebbi as well as a consortium of businessmen led by a former governor in Anambra.

The presidential aide noted with delight that the price of a bag of fertilizer had been reduced from over N9,000 per bag to 5,500.

“This country has about 32 fertilizer blending plants that have remained idle for many years, but that about half of that number is now in production with many of them running three shifts a day.”

He said some of the blending plants have now provided direct employment to hundreds of workers and indirect employment opportunities to thousands of others.

Mr. Shehu said that the Buhari administration’s agricultural revolution was bringing about other socio-economic changes in the country.

He said that a recent survey carried out in two urban areas of Jigawa and Kiyawa showed that jobless young men were migrating from commercial motorcycle business known as, `achaba’, to farming.

“In Kiyawa, it takes a long wait to catch a commercial motor cycle because they are rapidly disappearing.

“The young men are moving to the farms. These are development issues in the country that our media should pay attention,” he added.

The presidential spokesman frowned at the way and manner some elites have continued to attack some government policies and programmes in spite of their positive impact on the ordinary Nigerians.

“Because the elite don’t care for ordinary people, they are saying that government is doing nothing but we are doing a lot for ordinary people.

“They don’t want us to talk about the 14 solar power projects that have been licensed to boost electricity supply in the country; the Mambila power project which will soon leave the drawing board and the many Chinese projects including the standard gauge railway.

“This country has more important things to talk about instead of dwelling on trivialities,” Mr. Shehu said.

Nigeria – people of Lagos flock to buy government rice stocks

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Thousands of Lagos residents, Thursday, besieged various centres across the state to buy LAKE rice, a locally produced rice borne out of a partnership between Lagos and Kebbi states.

The governors of the two states, Akinwunmi Ambode and Atiku Bagudu, had launched the rice on Wednesday with the aim of ensuring food security as well as show Nigeria’s ability as a producing nation.

20161222_123407According to the Lagos State government, the rice would be sold at N12,000, N6,000, and N2,500 for 50 kilogramme, 25kg, and 10kg bags respectively.

 

 

One man, one bag

PREMIUM TIMES‎ correspondents who monitored the sales of the rice across the three Senatorial district‎s in the state reported a mix of elation and disappointment from the residents.

At the Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi, almost 400 people had gathered at the centre by 1020161222_124108a.m. while the truck conveying the bags of rice arrived at 12:30 p.m. An intending buyer was issued a slip to go make payment at a Zenith Bank branch at Bolade, some metres away, and return with the slips and a bank teller before receiving a bag of rice.

 

It was observed that the government’s policy of “one man, one bag” was strictly adhered to.‎

At the St. Agnes Nursery/Primary School, Maryland, intending buyers‎ turned up as early as 7 a.m. to await the sales of the rice which began three hours later. Accreditation was done and people were issued bank tellers to go make payment at a nearby Zenith Bank branch.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that some of the almost 300 buyers had already put down their names on Wednesday and got a head start ahead of the others.

Olalekan Adekoya, a resident, said the payment system was “shambolic.”

“As you can see, there is no POS, no ATM for payment. Bank officials are not even here,” Mr. Adekoya said.

“The stress is just too much‎. Government should make this thing work better with better logistic plans.”

20161222_123232Abiola Bashorun, another resident, said the rice would go a long way in helping Lagosians out of the current economic recession, adding that it would help those who can’t afford the commodity in the market.

“But government should make the payment system less stressful,” Miss Bashorun added.

At the Teslim Balogun stadium in Surulere, some buyers who arrived early said they would love to see the bags of rice before making any kind of payment.

‎Adekunle Olutayo, who owns a shop near the stadium, said he would confirm the quality of the rice before parting with his money.

“I am surprised that people are rushing to pay for an item they have not even seen,” Mr. Olutayo said, just before a consignment of the rice arrived.

“‎What if it does not meet the quality they expected? Will they be asking for refunds?”

But another trader, Ajoke Badmus, said she had no reason to believe that the state government would deal in sub-standard products.

“I have paid already,” Mrs. Badmus said.

“I know it can’t be sub-standard, the government knows the implication of that, they will rather not sell at all than sell something bad.”

Happy people

20161222_095843It was, however, not all tales of glooms at the centres where the rice was sold.

Muyideen Alanran said he was glad to be among the first to purchase the rice at the Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi.

“I thank the State Government for giving us the opportunity because when we go outside,we know the cost of rice, but we thank the Lagos State Governor for this opportunity and we hope that more would be made available so that the process of purchasing would be easier,” he said.

“With the issue of plastic rice flooding the market, this is a safer option because we can trust the source.”

A resident, Alebiousu Olufunmilayo, said the cost of the LAKE RICE was “pocket-friendly.”

“I will like to tell Lagosains that this is for real. If they get to any of the centres, they should queue orderly and they will get the ‎rice,” she said.

At Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre (Rowe Park) in Yaba, residents were seen queuing orderly to buy the commodity at government approved prices.

Another resident, Alabi Aminat, who spoke to journalists after buying the product, said the development was a thing of joy, as there ‎was no discrimination in the sale of the commodity.

“I got here this morning and I was told I could pay through the POS and I did,” she said.

“The process was free and fair and the most commendable aspect is that the people in charge of selling the rice are not particular about whether you work with Lagos State Government or you belong to any tribe or creed, as long as you are a resident of the state, you are entitled to buy.

“I was allowed to buy one bag and I got 50kg at the N12, 000 price earlier announced by the government. They just told us to stay on the queue and when it is your turn, you will be asked to pay and take away your rice. It’s as simple as that.”


 

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Nigeria – Dangote reopens Kano flour mill

Leadership

Dangote Flour Reopens Kano Plant, Saves 3,000 Jobs

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Dangote Flour Mills has reopened its plant in Kano, saving the jobs of 3,000 workers who depend on the firm for their sustenance.

The plant was shut down by Tiger Branded Consumer Goods of South Africa following its acquisition of the flour mill.

As part of its restructuring process for greater market share, the reopening ceremony and commissioning of new machinery at the plant location in Kano also witnessed the rewarding of distributors at various categories.

Speaking at the commissioning of the plant in Kano at the weekend, president/chief executive, Dangote Group Ltd, Aliko Dangote, assured stakeholders that the mill is back for production and will not be shut down again.

“I would like to assure you that we are back for good and we will never close this mill again. It has always been my desire to increase our investments in Kano. We are also looking forward to venturing into farming in the state where we can create a lot of jobs, and I think this flour mill will help us achieve this feat in Kano.

“Kano is very strategic because most of our products, be it flour, sugar, pasta, enjoy a lot of patronage and support. I want to announce that we have successfully re-engineered Dangote Flour Mill so as to meet the emerging challenges in the market place and also to meet the ever changing demands of our esteemed and loyal consumers.

“We decided to make this investment in November when Tiger Branded Consumer Goods decided to leave the country and we do not want over 3000 jobs to be lost. You can imagine these 3000 people going back into the job market in Nigeria. So we decided to seek ways to assist to ensure that these jobs are secured by injecting fresh cash of about N10 billion into the business.

“Our return to Kano is actually a sign of good things to come and it is our hope that, by this move, we will create thousands of employment in the state, and not just in flour but other products.

“Very soon we will start growing wheat in Kano. I want to assure our customers that we will continue to support you to make sure that we assist you with the necessary things needed to make your businesses a lot easier and more profitable.

“I am looking forward to you supporting the entire team to make sure the company surpasses its target of 900,000 metric tonnes of wheat yearly. I want to assure you that with the new board we have, this company will definitely excel with or without my presence”, he added.

Chairman, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Ighodalo Asue noted that Kano remains one of the firm’s biggest markets and the management is happy to be reinvigorating the plant.

“We bought back Dangote Flour Mill from Tiger Branded and by this move, it means we have a stronger, better sophisticated and more focused Dangote Flour Mills.

“Since the takeover, we have taken a lot steps to reposition the company through expansion to drive growth. We are also using this medium to restate our commitment to increasing our shareholders value and our dear customers.

“Let me assure you that we will continue to invest in the state and other parts of the country and even beyond the country, because we believe in job and wealth creation. It is our hope that our return to Kano will create more job opportunities and impact positively on the economy of the state.”

He further commended Aliko Dangote for his investment in Dangote Flour Mills.

“A few months ago when Tiger Branded Company was going to leave the country, it appeared that the fate of the company was in jeopardy, but Aliko Dangote’s decision to buy back the company has saved the jobs of about 3,000 employees and the shares of over a million shareholders. More importantly, the multiplier effect of his investment in the country is immeasurable”, he said.

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