FEC approves 100 rice mills nationwide

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Dr Akinwumi Adesina

Dr Akinwumi Adesina

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the setting up of 100 large scale integrated rice mills across the country in the next 12 to 18 months.

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina, disclosed this after the council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House.

Adeshina said the decision was taken in line with the Federal Government’s fiscal policy of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2015.

Adeshina said a team of Federal Government delegation to China led by the Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and four other cabinet ministers including himself had sealed a deal with the Chinese government on the setting up of the rice mills.

“Those mills will mill 2.1 million metric tonnes of rice Thai grade quality. This will allow Nigeria, for the first time in its history, to have the full milling capacity for all the rice that it currently imports.”

He said millions of jobs will be created for Nigerians and Nigeria will be able to end the menace of continually being dependent on imported rice.

According to Adeshina, with increased population, rice consumption in Nigeria will rise from its present 5 million metric tons to at least 35 million metric tons by the year 2050.

On the policy of replacing up to 40 per cent of the amount of wheat being used in bread making, the minister said the delegation to China also reached an agreement with the Chinese on how to locally produce high quality cassava flower.

In a related development, FEC also approved the award of contract for the rehabilitation of Julius Berger Terminal at Old Warri Sea Port in Delta State.

The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, said the contract was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc at N9.046 billion with 25 months completion period. (NAN)

 

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