Rice can be substituted with potato – Audu Ogbeh
– Audu Ogbe said the demand for foreign exchange to purchase foreign goods was affecting the economy
– The minister commented on the high consumption of rice by Nigerians and said this can be substituted with potatto
– He explained that the ministry was ready to support local production of food
Chief Audu Ogbeh who is the minister of agriculture and rural development has said the demand for foreign goods at the expense of local products may push the Dollar to N1000.
He also said that the reason the price of rice is now expensive is because of its huge demand from Nigerians,
Daily Post reports that the minister also said that said Nigerian businessmen demanded 2.5 billion dollars a week for importation of goods and services into the country.
He said in a bid to save the country’s foreign exchange, the ministry was willing to support local investors with capacity to produce goods.
He noted that the consumption of rice was rising and that many people did not know this could be substituted for potato.
“The volume of importation of virtually everything into this country is too much.
“The demand for dollars in this country as at today is 2.5 billion a week; this is the quantum of dollars Nigerians are asking for to import things.
“Since 1986, we began this habit of importing everything and doing virtually nothing at home to sustain ourselves; now, we do not have the dollars and people are very hungry.
“This day was coming anyway, no matter who was in power; we have the most ridiculous method of devaluing our currency; every week, we auction the dollar and naira goes up.
“We sat and were hoping that by devaluation, we are going to arrive at Eldorado; if we continue like this, it will be a thousand naira to a dollar.”
“We should aggressively take the West African market; there is no reason why we should allow Irish potato from Ireland and France and Belgium into West Africa; it is the same story with onions.”