Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday inaugurated the ultra-modern 420 metric tons per day capacity rice milling factory in Kano State.
Speaking at the occasion, Emefiele said the establishment of the factory was in line with the federal government’s commitment towards ensuring food security in the country. He urged rice mills owners to be involved in paddy production for sustainable supply through partnership with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
Emefiele stated, “As we increase the milling capacity of rice nationwide, we are encouraging all rice mills to embrace our backward integration programme and get involved in paddy production to guarantee sustainable supply of paddy to your mills and complement the supply from smallholder farmers.
“The private sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme provides long-term financing options to millers to finance commercial farms, land development, irrigation facilities; and other agricultural infrastructure that will enhance the production plan.”
He disclosed that the quality of milled Nigerian rice could match others produced in other parts of the world.
“As Nigerians, we need to become more patriotic and embrace Mr. President’s mantra of producing what we eat, and eat what we grow,” he said.
Emefiele noted that prior to the introduction of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Nigeria, there were less than 10 functional rice-milling plants in the country, with a combined capacity of 350,000 metric tons.
“These have increased to over 60 integrated mills, with combined capacity of over three million metric tons, as at today, with about 10 more mills scheduled to be commissioned this year,” he said.
In his remarks, Kano State Governor, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje, said the state was surrounded by dams and rivers, which gave farmers ample opportunity for growing rice, tomato, and other crops. Ganduje assured that his administration would continue to provide an enabling environment for farming and business activities in the state.
Ganduje revealed that the new rice mill would assist in creating jobs and boost the economic status of people in the state.
The governors of Jigawa and Kebbi states, Badaru Abubakar and Atiku Bagudu, respectively, attended the ceremony. They thanked Buhari for introducing the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to guarantee food security.
Chairman, Gerawa Rice Mill, Alhaji Isa Gerawa, thanked the CBN for supporting him to establish the factory at the cost of N15 billion. Gerawa said the rice-milling factory would go a long way in reducing unemployment and ensuring food security in the country.
Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano