According to the latest information available, it has been reported that the President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka, has stated that it is strange that the country still imports rice despite its great potential in agriculture. In this matter, Mr. Kitaoka, who was in the country to inspect some of JICA's intervention in Nigeria, informed, that my first impression when I arrived here is that this is a very green country and secondly, the Nigeria has a great potential in agriculture. So, it is quite strange that the country is importing rice while it should be exporting especially with this weather.
Further, it has also been reported that the federal government had recently banned the importation of rice through the land borders but it is yet to stop the activities of smugglers. The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service had also revealed that 24.992 metric tonnes of rice valued at N2.34 billion were imported between October 2015 and March 2017 before the ban. While commenting on the situation, Mr. Kitaoka buttressed the readiness of Japan to help the country in rice production, as it was saying that” Japan has much advanced technology and I am hoping that we can do more in this area and in other activities too”.