The federal government’s plan to end importation of rice and other food items has continued an argumented environment in the country.This ban on food commodities will lead to food crisis in the country.
Despite the poor condition of our industries, the federal government through the ministry of agriculture has announced its plan to ban importation of rice and other food commodities .
Since the ban has enforced there has been 30 to 50 per cent marginal increase in the prices of commodities.This rise in prices of the commodities will continue till the country is able to feed its population without exporting .
As most of the Nigerians took this ban as the government mistake,but the government aims at encouraging local manufacturers to market their products better,
The rice traders that still imported the banned food omodities have to pay a lot as their goods worth of millions of naire were captured by the custom officers.
Mr Ikenna Obiekwe, a trader at Utako market who deals in foodstuffs such as rice, beans, garri and among others said that since the federal government has publicly announced ban on food coomodities they have to raise the prices of the food commodities so as to balance their expenditure they felt because of custom officers.For example in 2012, a 50kg Mama Gold rice was sold at the cost of N85,00 but the same quantity of rice is now sold for N12, 500 due to the ban.
Another trader at Utako market, Mr Henry Udeme said that the idea of government to ban food importation is good because it will increase storage of the local manufactured products and also producers will make more money to take care of their immediate needs but his view is that the Federal government should take care of the ailing industries first before the ban. This can be done by ensuring that proper power supply should be provided because without electricity, the cost of doing business in Nigeria will be not affordable for owners of industries.
A source at the ministry of agriculture said that the federal government ban these food commodities with the aim to regulate the importance of these items into the country.
“Government also cleared the lands to make it easier for cultivation. They are also encouraging the private sector to establish machinery hiring companies where farmers can hire equipment at a reduced rate. Government is also establishing staple crops processing zones and has made it possible for farmers to access loans,” he concluded.