Atiku attack Buhari ”You’re a liar, rice importation still high
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has said President Muhammadu Buhari and his Administration lied on claims that rice production had improved since coming into office in 2015.
Abubakar said Buhari administration has bragged that their biggest achievement is reducing Nigeria’s dependence on foreign rice.
Recently, President Buhari himself made this boast when he said to British Prime Minister, Theresa May on April 16, 2018 as follows: “We have cut rice importation by about 90%, made lots of savings of foreign exchange, and generated employment. People had rushed to the cities to get oil money, at the expense of farming. But luckily, they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going back to the land. We are making steady progress on the road to food security.”
This claim was also made by the minister of agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who on May 2, 2018 said as follows: “Unemployment in Thailand was one of the lowest in the world, 1.2 per cent, it has gone up to four per cent because seven giant rice mills have shut down because Nigeria’s import has fallen by 95 per cent on rice alone.”
However, recently released data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Markets and Trade Report has proven these claims by President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to be false.
According to the World Markets and Trade Report of the USDA, which is a public document, Nigeria imported three million metric tonnes of rice in 2018, which is 400,000 metric tonnes more than the quantity of the product imported in 2017.
It does not end there. The report shows that there has actually been a steep drop in commercial rice production from its 2015 peak under the previous Peoples Democratic Party administration.
According to the report: “Nigeria had consistently milled 3,780,000 metric tonnes annually – a drop from 3,941,000 metric tonnes recorded in 2015.”