The Federal Government has been called upon to sustain the current border closure as it would help boost the economy.
The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Chairman Niger state chapter, Alhaji Idris Abini, who made the call in Minna on Sunday said the closure has increased rice production in the state due to increased demand by marketers and consumers.
“Although we are yet to meet local demand for rice. We have started the journey to produce more rice due to the closure of our borders because efforts will be made by both government and farmers to produce enough food.
“The border closure is a right step in the right direction because it is already increasing wealth among farmers as consumers are beginning to patronise our local rice,” he said, adding that Nigeria has different varieties of rice that can compete favourably with foreign ones.
The RIFAN Chairman also said the closure would ensure security in the country as smuggling of illegal arms and ammunition would be curtailed.
“Those criticizing the closure of the borders are not true Nigerians because it is one of the best decisions of this administration,” he said.
Abini expressed optimism that the policy would succeed as government was providing the enabling environment for agriculture to thrive by supporting farmers with inputs and implements.
“The federal government has demonstrated this through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Scheme by allowing farmers to access more loans even when previous ones have not been fully repaid,” he said.
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