The Chairman of Abakaliki Rice Mill Company Limited, Mr. Joseph Nnunnu has denied reports that a 50 kilogramme bag of local rice sells for N8,000 in the Ebonyi State capital.
Following a recent visit by Agriculture minister, Audu Ogbeh and Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele with some members of the presidential task force on rice production, there have been reports in the media that a 50kg bag of locally-processed Ebonyi rice would be sold for N8,000.
But Nnunnu in an interview with The Guardian said: “That information is a mistake from the press. There is nothing on ground to make the price of rice coming down to such range because the cost of fertiliser we use is still high. Dollar exchange rate is high and the Nigerian economy is not stable. Also we spend so much money to maintain the milling machines, the cost of diesel used in powering the machines is high too.”
He, however, expressed hope that with the innovations being introduced by the state governor by motivating people to go into rice production, the prices would drastically reduce in the next planting season.
He said: “If other state executives in the country can act like Ebonyi governor, the food scarcity that we are experiencing in Nigeria will be tackled.”
Nnunnu said a 25kg bag of high-quality Abakaliki rice sells for N8,500 while the 50kg goes for N17,000. He assured that before the end of year the prices may reduce due to the mass harvest by farmers in the state.