Friday, 27 October 2017

Obasanjo attacks Shagari over Nigeria’s insufficiency in rice production

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday, criticised the regime of Second Republic President, Shehu Shagari, for allegedly scuttling the progress made by the country to be self-sufficient in rice production, Guardian reports.

Obasanjo recalled that in 1979 when he handed over power as military Head of State, the country was almost achieving self- sufficiency in the production, adding that inconsistent in policies by his successor who later set up a committee on importation of rice, stifled the laudable move.

Speaking yesterday as chief launcher at the global unveiling of Okun Rice at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun, noted that the shift in policy focus served as a disincentive to farmers who were sent packing as the imported bags of rice began to arrive.

He said, “One of our problems in this country is inconsistency in policy.

“In 1979, we were getting to a place where we would be self sufficient in rice production, but then a new administration came and set up a Presidential Committee on rice importation  instead of a Presidential Committee on Exportation of rice.

“In no time, when the imported rice started  arriving, those farmers who were cultivating rice gave up.

” Today I commend  Hyst Global Business Limited and the chairman, Mr. Biodun Onalaja, for his doggedness, persistence, and stubbornness. It is not easy to succeed here as a farmer. But I want to say Onalaja is a success story, because despite the odds he never gave up.”

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