The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, says Nigeria is competitive in rice production, adding that the country has done well in the area of rice production in the last few years.

According to him, while Nigeria sells freshly produced rice, countries that started rice production earlier than Nigeria sell rice stored for years in warehouses.

“We have done well in the last few years. Nigeria is competitive with other countries in rice production. There is no country that can sell rice to us if we compare things. What has been happening is that countries that are stronger than us, countries that started early are selling subsidised rice to us, or rice that has been kept in storage for many years but we are selling freshly produced rice,” Bagudu said on Tuesday while featuring on Arise TV monitored by The PUNCH.

He, however, expressed optimism that the country has the prospect to dominate the rice market in West Africa and on the continental level with the right investment in critical infrastructure and capital.

“With the support we are receiving, the funding from the domestic economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Capital Market that is beginning to get interested, we believe that we have what it takes to continue to dominate and expand ourselves outside the shores of Nigeria,” he added.

The governor also said Nigeria sits on “acres of diamonds” and the agriculture sector can bring Nigeria out of recession.

“The agricultural revolution across the whole country including Kebbi is still on its way and we are counting on agriculture to lead us out of recession despite the downturn in other sectors,” he added.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), described Kebbi State as “the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part of this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation”.