Mr Joe Kwanashie, the Director, Irrigation and Drainage, Ministry of Water Resources, has urged Nigerians to reduce their consumption of rice to once a week.
Kwanashie said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the advice became imperative due to the amount foreign exchange spent on rice importation.
According to him, Nigeria spends N1 billion on rice importation daily.
‘’ If Nigerians decide not to eat rice every day but once a week, it will drastically reduce the importation of the commodity.
‘’If today we decide that instead of eating rice three times a day, we are only going to eat it once a day or once a week, we wouldn’t need to import all that rice.
“As a child, I know that in my house we didn’t eat rice every day.
“Today, most households in this country eat rice every day.
“Must we eat rice? what’s wrong with eating eba or pounded yam that we produce locally? will you die if you don’t eat rice? Kwanashie asked.
He said that the money spent on the importation of the commodity would not encourage economic growth, noting that Nigeria had so many other food substitutes.
‘’It’s something that requires political will and commitment and not only from the political leaders but also from us; its small sacrifices like this that Nigerians can make to make this country better.
‘’Look at the damage we are doing to our economy; one billion naira every day! do you know how many jobs that would provide in this country?’’ he asked.
The director, however, noted that Nigeria had the capacity to produce rice both for local consumption and also for export, stressing that the human and material resources required to to achieve it were also available.
On what the ministry is doing to combat the effects of flooding that had ravaged most farmlands and homes in the country, the director said:“The solution to flooding problem is multisectoral.”