Rice is an invaluable food commodity across almost every household in Nigeria. According to available statistics, Nigeria was second only to China as the world’s highest importer of rice; importing over 3.5 million tones per annum.
The ban on the importation of rice into Nigeria by the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government in 2018 was rightly applauded by economists and stakeholders in the industry.
The policy opened wide doors for local rice industry to flourish and the results are being significantly felt as local production, according to the Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors of Nigeria (RMIDN), has increased by over 60%.
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, a perspicacious personality and surrounded by far-sighted advisers wasted no time in ensuring that Kogi state takes its fair share of this immense economic opportunity with the building of a multi-billion naira state of the art rice mill in Ejigba, Yagba West local government area of the state.
The factory is set to place Kogi State in the league of leading rice producers in Nigeria. It is estimated to have a fifty tones per day production capacity which will translate to over one thousand (50kg) bags every single day; six thousand bags weekly and twenty four thousand bags monthly.
The rice mill is also expected to inject over three hundred million naira into the state economy on a monthly basis; even as experts estimate that over eighty thousand direct and indirect jobs will also be created by the rice mill.
The government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello has from its inception made the growth of internally generated revenue one of its cardinal objectives. The one hundred and twenty million naira monthly IGR expected from the rice mill looks nothing but good money spent in a viable, profitable and sustainable project.
Kogi rice mill will produce Confluence Rice and will contribute significantly in putting Nigeria on a faster lane self-sufficiency in rice production. The administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello deserves all the accolades it has enjoyed for conceptualising and excellently executing this invaluable project.
– Vincent Adaji writes from Lokoja.