Edo governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said the state could feed Nigeria with rice if waiver on the commodity was removed.
He stated this at the backdrop of Thursday’s decision of the National Economic Council to promote local production of food crops in states with comparative advantage on them.
The governor, who spoke with State House correspondents on Friday in Abuja, decried the waiver granted rice importers by the previous administration, saying that it led to dumping of various goods in the country.
He said that the incentive also drove local producers of food items, including rice, out of business.
He stated that big rice millers in the state were already waiting to see if the implementation of the policy before they would return to the farms.
“Edo could do a lot if the Federal Government has coherent agricultural policies that do not provide the window for waivers, and expired rice and cheap rice to be dumped on Nigeria,’’ he said.
According to the governor, Edo has huge potential for massive rice production but such might not happen until the right policies are made.
He said that Leventis Group, which had a large rice farm in Agenebode, had promised that with the new administration in the country, and controversies over duty waivers removed, it was willing to resume production.
He also said that Dangote Group had acquired about 50,000 hectares of land for rice farming in the state and was enthusiastic to go into massive rice farming with the right policies in place.
He said his administration had waived land charges as incentives for big investors in agriculture and urged those interested in investing in the state to embrace the gesture.
On fresh forensic audit being carried out on Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Oshimhole explained that it was being done because the one carried out by the past administration was incomprehensive.
He said that the firm which carried out the first audit was not given free hand to conduct the exercise, adding that the new audit approved by the economic council would also look into the700 million dollars Sovereign Wealth Fund.
He said that the fund which had 1 billion dollars was left with only 300 million dollars at the expiration of the past administration.
The governor said the truth about disappearances of money from NNPC, its subsidiaries and other Federal Government accounts would be made public after the fresh audit ordered by the council. (NAN)