Gombe state chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says farmers in the country can produce enough rice to feed Nigerians and to export.
Kalagar Lubo, state secretary of RIFAN, said the rain in October will increase the yield of rice farmers to meet local need.
Speaking with the PUNCH on Tuesday, he said the border closure is a positive development towards promoting fresh locally made rice.
“With the extension of rains to the end of October, the yield will be good. The home production is very good, first it is fresh and the value is good. If the border is opened the farmer will not have it good. When you buy a bag at N10,000, it will cost you just N20,000 for two bags. When you go to the market, a bag of foreign rice is sold at N18,000,” he said.
Lubo said Nigerians who complain about the border closure are those with a penchant for foreign products.
He said the rice produced in the country are freshly consumed unlike foreign rice which spend a lot of time before arriving in the country.
“Nigerians for who they are, or human nature for what it is, people have a taste for what comes from outside. Local rice is fresh, unlike foreign rice that spends years before coming to your homes. At RIFAN, once we attain self-sufficiency, then we export our local rice to other parts of the world,” he said.
“Naturally borders are supposed to be monitored, for those going in and out. It has been so relaxed that goods and people come in. Now that the border has been closed we have multiple benefits, security wise, weapons can not be smuggled easily, people will be checked and contraband can’t come in. Because people are not used to it, they will react negatively but with time people will get used to it.”
The Nigerian government closed its borders since August for the purpose of checking smuggling.
Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service, had said there was no definitive end to the border closure.
He also mentioned that the agency has been generating an average revenue of N4.7bn and N5.8bn daily since the borders were closed.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also said the nation’s land borders will remain closed until neighbouring countries meet the requirements for them to be reopened.