By Mustapha Hodio
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, has explained why he said Nigeria is the second largest producer of rice in the world.
Mr Shehu came under fire for saying that Nigeria is the second largest producer of rice in the world without showing proof.
The president’s spokesman said the Presidency was not the first to come up with Nigeria’s rice production position as global news giants, CNN, first aired the story.
“We are not the first to say that Nigeria has grown to the second position in rice production worldwide.
“The CNN which is not a frivolous news source said this. We have reason to believe them because of their global reach.
“While we wait the numbers from the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, we are collating our own figures and in the coming weeks, the officials in the Ministry of Agriculture will be coming up with our own position on rice production.
“Don’t forget that since October last year, Nigeria has been feeding many parts of West Africa, North and Central Africa.
“Many of these countries have been shopping in Nigeria for rice, sorghum, sesame and millet.
“To support the growing rice industry, the Federal Government just acquired 110 rice milling machines which will be installed in different parts of the country between now and July.
“A lot is happening in Nigeria for which we should be proud,” Mr Shehu added.