By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended both Lagos and Kebbi States for the successful partnership that gave rise to the local production of LAKE Rice (Lagos-Kebbi Rice).
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President particularly commended the commitment of governors Akinwunmi Ambode and Atiku Bagudu in bringing to fruition the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in March 2016 on substantially meeting the country’s rice requirement.
He also expressed delight at the relatively cheaper price of LAKE Rice especially at this period of recession.
“It gladdens my heart to get reports of our citizens rushing to purchase this cheaper local rice to enable them and their families enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” the President noted.
According to him, what the two states have done is “evidence of a new base being laid for the Nigerian economy, founded and propelled by agriculture, away from substantial dependence on oil and gas for national revenue.”
The president recalled that in his 2017 Budget presentation before the National Assembly, he said that “a new era is rising in which we must grow what we eat and consume what we make,” adding that the LAKE Rice achievement was in furtherance of the above goal.
While urging other state governments to replicate the laudable example of LAKE Rice in other staple crops and dairy products, Buhari pledged the Federal Government’s readiness to continue to support such initiatives by providing the enabling environment, policies and incentives for agriculture to thrive in order for the nation to achieve food security.
The president said he remained optimistic that going forward, Nigeria would attain rice sufficiency by 2019.