The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) have stepped up efforts to reduce rice prices in the face of growing food inflation in the country.
CBN stated in a statement on Tuesday evening that it has completed preparations to distribute 27,000 metric tonnes of rice paddy straight to millers throughout the nation on Thursday, June 24, 2021, in a new attempt to reduce increasing food prices in the Nigerian market.
Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, noted that Kaduna State, has been selected as the key location for the paddy allocation exercise which will be done simultaneously in the States that recorded the highest quality of rice harvests during the last farming season.
“The direct delivery is to RIFAN warehouses throughout 16 Federation states follows the previous sale of paddy aggregated as debt payback under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to millers from rice pyramids unveiled in Niger, Kebbi, Gombe, and Ekiti States,” he said
He stated that the new policy was consistent with the Bank’s objective of maintaining price stability and its focus on becoming a people-centered central bank.
He also expressed confidence that the distribution of the fields will result in a decrease in rice prices in the Nigerian market, increased availability, and, eventually, a check on the activities of intermediaries attempting to create artificial scarcity throughout supply chains.
The CBN recently unveiled rice paddie pyramids in Niger, Kebbi, Gombe, and Ekiti States, with the Federal Capital Territory, Ebonyi, and Cross River set to follow suit in the following weeks as part of the Bank’s effort to ensuring self-sufficiency in food production and food security in Nigeria.
It will be remembered that, in January 2021, the CBN, in collaboration with appropriate authorities, initiated the release of about 300,000 metric tonnes of maize from key anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), driving maize prices down from N180,000 per metric tonne.