The Journal Nigeria

Saturday, 2nd March 2024
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is targeting to bring down the price of rice from the current N38,000 to N20,000 per bag.

This target is coming on the heels of the rice revolution that President Muhammadu Buhari launched last week in Abuja.

The Director of Development Finance at the CBN, Mr. Yusuf Yila, revealed the plan of the apex banking regulator to reduce the price of the commodity while speaking to the media recently in Abuja.

His words: “Our target landing price, including the distribution cost, distribution margins, among others, should be N20,000 average across the country.”

This target price, the CBN director hinted, could even be cheaper for those living close to rice millers.

 “Prices are sub-N20,000, where the mills are close by. If you add distribution costs, you should get an average of N20,000 across the country,” he said.

Speaking on the rice pyramids in Abuja, Yila expressed delight that “this is just a fraction of the harvest, and it was brought here for symbolic purposes. We have about N14 billion worth of paddy on display here”.

Last week, President Buhari unveiled 1 million bags of 75-kilogrammes (kg) rice paddies stacked in 13 pyramids to launch the rice revolution in Nigeria.

The CBN director expressed optimism that Nigerians would derive value from the rice revolution as the country would “continue to spend less of our hard-earned foreign exchange on importation of rice”.

He added that as the nation continues to “improve productivity per hectare with high yield seeds, mechanisation, and good agronomic practices, we should start exporting, thus earning more foreign exchange”.

Yila also said: “Our mills are getting better and we can compete with imports today. Our rice is fresh, more nutritious, and not rice that has stayed overtime in the silo in Asia.”

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele hailed smallholder farmers who took several risks to cultivate rice in 2021.

“Amidst COVID-19 disruptions in production and supply chains, which led to a global increase in the price of most commodities, the resilience of our farmers and the interventions of the CBN continued to ensure the provision of the needed food stock for the populace,” he said.