The President made the commendation during the signing of the $1 billion-dollar Rice Investment Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the Federal Government and Dangote Group at the State House, Abuja. The Minister of Agriculture, Adewunmi Adesina and Alhaji Dangote signed on behalf of the Federal Government and Dangote Group respectively.
President Jonathan said the Dangote Group’s investment is the single largest investment ever made in rice production in Africa. He thanked Alhaji Dangote for investing in agriculture and assured him that his investment will be worthwhile.
President Jonathan said he looked forward to a time Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production and a net-exporter of the grain, adding that the Federal Government will protect Nigeria’s borders and check smuggling.
“Government cannot allow its borders to be porous. We are working on non-human measures and smugglers should have a rethink now and change their ways by investing their resources in other meaningful areas,” he said.
In less than four years, Nigeria hopes to become a net-exporter of rice. The Dangote Group’s investment in rice will cover five states and contribute additional 1.4 million metric tonnes of Paddy rice.