N1billion. That is, according to the Arewa Consultative Forum’s former president, how much rice Nigeria imports every day.

Addressing shareholders of Jamaiyar Matan Arewa during a meeting, Alhaji Aliko Muhamed said spending so much on rice imports was needless given Nigeria’s assets. Comparing to China, he said: “China has a population of around 1.3 billion people but they don’t import food. They are able to feed themselves while Nigeria which has a population lower can’t feed its people without imports.”

He then called on government at all levels in the country to take necessary measures to reverse the trend. Muhammed also asked Nigerian women to urge their husbands to turn to agricultural activities.

This speech comes as Nigeria’s economy presently experiences some turmoil resulting from fall in price of oil. The situation which has driven authorities to turn to other sources of revenue places agriculture as a valid alternative to oil and gas.

– Aaron Akinocho