While meeting with the senate committee on agriculture and rural development, Nigeria’s agric minister, Audu Ogbeh, said that the price of rice is expected to fall from November this year as more Nigerians had returned to their farms in time for the harvesting season.
The minister also said that the capital expenditure of the ministry is only being implemented now because of the delay in approving the last budget.
“It is about now that the capital expenditure is beginning. One of the reasons why money is not circulating is that we need to follow the due process on issues of procurement, advertisement and others,” he said.
Ogbeh said at the moment, only N882.58 million, representing four per cent of the N21 billion budgeted for the ministry in the 2016 Appropriation Act has been spent.
He spoke against rice importation, saying the government couldn’t be involved because it is working towards self-sufficiency.
“We will not encourage rice importation and there is no way our ministry or government can be involved in importing rice when we are working hard to be self-sufficient in local production. By November when the full-scale harvest starts, rice prices will fall,” the minister said.