Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo monday asked Nigerians to brace up for inevitable higher electricity tariffs.
“There is no question at all that we must pay higher tariffs,” he said.
Osinbajo who made this remark while addresing the quarterly business forum organised by Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), however, said increase in the tariff would not take place now.
According to him, the N700billion Payment Assurance Guarantee set aside by government was payment to ensure uninterrupted payment for gas and liquidity in the power sector.
Osinbajo said the payment assurance guarantee was to fund a smooth transition “from where we are to a much more market-determined policy for electricity.”
The vice president said government was working with the World Bank on this.
Alsi giving an overview on the progress made in agriculture, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, said Nigeria’s import of rice has dropped by about 95 per cent from 644, 131 metric tons in September 2015 to 20,000 tons in September 2017.
According to him, there are 12.2million farmers growing rice in Nigeria, mainly in states like Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, Ebony and Nasarawa.
“We should be almost certain to meet our needs in local rice production,” the Minister of Agriculture said.
Others who spoke were the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, gave an update on the Export Incentive Grant; and the Chief Executive Officer of the WACOT Rice Mill in Kebbi State, Rahul Savara.
Participations from the private sector at the meeting also raised questions and made observations on such issues as access to credit, quality control, protection of local farmers, land, among others