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Nigeria inching close to self-sufficiency in rice, wheat production - President Buhari

Nigeria inching close to self-sufficiency in rice, wheat production - President Buhari

- President Muhammadu Buhari declares that Nigeria's rice and wheat revolution has become a huge success especially with his administration

- Buhari reveals that 12.2 million farmers have joined the revolution as Nigeria draws closer to self-sufficiency

- The president also pleads with the media to support his government

Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, has declared his administration's anchors borrowers' programme a huge success.

President Buhari said 12.2 million farmers have joined the rice and wheat revolution while the country is moving close to self-sufficiency in major grains.

Represented by the Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the information and culture minister, the president spoke at the 25th edition of the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) ceremony in Lagos on Wednesday, December 13.

According to him, the success of the agriculture revolution has turned thousands of rice farmers into millionaires and drastically reduced rice import.

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“Apart from the successes we have achieved in tackling insecurity and fighting corruption, perhaps our most remarkable progress has been in the area of agriculture.

"Quietly but steadily, our agriculture revolution is bearing fruits.

“According to the rice exporters of Thailand, rice imports from Thailand fell from 644,131 tons in September 2015 to 20,000 tons in September 2017, representing a 95% drop,” President Buhari said.

He further noted that self-sufficiency in rice is very important because it is the most widely consumed staple in Nigeria, and the country's daily expenditure on it for over three decades stood at $5 million a day!

Concerning others like millet, sorghum and maize cultivation, the president said Nigeria was making progress.

"We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.

"For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition.”

Buhari said Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production and that efforts are being made to restore and improve on the country's ranking in cocoa production, where it has fallen from second to seventh position.

“We are also investing in a new line of tree crops targeting local and foreign end users and certain to earn foreign exchange.

"These are shea butter, palm trees, coconut, mangoes, bananas and plantains, kenaf and sisal hemp, castor and pineapple, among others.

"Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP so that we can banish poverty and overcome our economic anxiety,” he said.

While hailing the NMMA, which he called the preeminent media excellence award, Buhari said the Nigeria media has done well over the years hence it deserves to be celebrated.

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The president however urged the media not to allow those who brought Nigeria to a sorry pass to muddle the waters by creating their own narrative which is far from reality.

“This is important because there seems to be a feeling of numbness among the citizens about the conduct of those whose actions brought us here.

"Suddenly, these same people are engaging in revisionist history and blaming those who are working themselves to the bone to correct the misdeeds of the past.

"They are blaming everyone but themselves for the mess they threw the country into,” the president said. reported earlier how the presidency released a list of some 21 companies and factories so far commissioned under the government of Muhammadu Buhari since 2015.

The list was released by Lauretta Onochie, the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media.

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