Tuesday, 22 November 2016

We Will Soon Ban Foreign Rice Importation in Ebonyi State - David Umahi

The Government of Ebonyi State is set to enforce its ban on the sale of foreign rice in the markets and other outlets in the state, Source said.
According to source, the state governor, Gov. David Umahi, made this known when participants of the Armed Force Command and Staff College, Senior Course 39, Jaji, Visited him in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State Capital on Monday.
The governor said, the order would soon be enforced to ensure that the residents patronized home-grown Ebonyi Rice.
In his words, he said, “I will personally lead a task force, consisting of the State Executive Council members to various markets and enforce the order.
“Individuals who are selling the produce will provide certification of its quality because most of the rice brought into the state are not parboiled.
“Any rice that is not parboiled after six months turns to chaff as most of them brought into the country stay for about 10 years before being imported.
“The rice then becomes poisonous and we have banned cooking of non-Ebonyi rice inside the state’s Government House, hotels and public functions.
“The Ebonyi Rice still presents its unique taste even when cooked without meat and we will give you some quantities for attestation,”
Source said, the governor remarked that the state had three functional rice mills and would inaugurate mills in the 13 Local Government Areas of the state before the end of 2017.
In his statement he said, “When we conclude the inauguration, we will consult our stakeholders who show zeal and commitment but may not have money to purchase the mills.
“We will then aggregate and sell the mills to them with the government maintaining about 20 per cent minimum equity shares and the stakeholders, 80 per cent.
“This is the type of Public Private Partnership we will be engaging in, in line with the theme of your study tour of the state.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the delegation, Air Commodore Michael Okonkwo, said the Study tour was one of the programmes that enable participants to study the socio, economic problems confronting the nation [Nigeria].
Source said, the theme of the tour is “Enhancing Development through Public-Private Partnership,” as we aim at evaluating aspects of the theme that concerns Ebonyi state.
In his words, he said, “We are the third group of the study tour consisting of 27 members and nine other groups are touring other states of the country for the same objective.
“The other selected states include Anambra, Gombe, Cross River, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Rivers, Taraba, and Zamfara.”

He concluded by saying, each team would be required to write a report and make a formal presentation to the college on their observation in the visited states.