Some couples of days ago,sometimes last week,every tabloid and social media platforms were engulfed with the news of massive availability of rice from one of the eastern Nigeria States,precisely Ebonyi State coupled with the utterances that was traced to the state helmsman that there will be an all out ban and total destruction of imported rice in Ebonyi State.
As it is before,this generated a lot of comments,outrages and unending furore that center around differential opinion on this issue that boils down to a common single staple food that has been outside the reach of the common man since this present administration declared a different uncommon stand in their approach to the importation of rice.
No doubt about it,this administration has taken a firm stand that will encourage the local content initiatives that past administration has been clamoring about,which will launch Nigeria into the realm of prosperity since it will boost employment generation and foreign exchange reserve will jack up.
On the contrary,this administration failed in preparing for the negative effect of their economic policy that it is being witnessed in the form of skyrocketed prices of a bag of rice which has not been affordable by many Nigerian, although the high dollar to naira exchange rate contributed immensely to this upsurge in price.What is expected from the present day government is that palliatives that will cushion the effect of hike in the price of rice should have been put in place before the outright ban for waiver granted to rice importers is scrapped.
As the news about the massive availability and production of local rice becomes ripe and matured some few weeks ago,it is quite disappointing for this present administration to mouth that Nigeria as a nation will soon be exporting rice to enhance and boost foreign exchange earning.This can be described without any iota of doubt as a situation of misplaced priority by the government of the day.
Reason demand that the government of the day should be bothered about how the production and availability of rice can satisfy and meet up with our local and internal consumption demand.
Elementary economics about the principle of demand and supply hinges on the fact that when supply of a commodity is higher than the demand,price of such commodity will crash without any struggle.
At this moment in our national existence, as a nation finding solutions to many challenges pummeling the fabrics of our national existence,a sensitive,responsible and responsive government should fashion out ways by which the prices of common commodities in the market will be available and affordable to the common man.It defeats any form a reasoning for the government of the day to be bothered about boosting foreign exchange earnings when tour citizenry are being ravaged with famine and hunger.
The yearnings of every Nigerians on a daily basis is that the prices of rice should crash in no distance time since rice is one of the staple food commodity that has been entrenched as a culture in the Nigerian culture for so many decades.
It will be a disappointment for Nigerians if what they have been used to for forlorn years is taking away from them because of an economic policy that seems to be one-sided or lopsided.
The consumption of rice has found a solid foundation in our cultural values across the length and breadth of our country,it can be described as one of the unifying factors.It will tantamount to irresponsibility and wickedness for any government to take it away from us because it has become a heirloom that has been passed from one generation to another in Nigeria.Every decision and policies from the present day government must be marshaled to preserve this custom by all means because posterity might demand an explanation for it one day.
In conclusion,local production of rice and other staple foods massively is a welcome development and it must be maximized and optimized to tackle and banish unemployment,famine and hunger in our land.
A hungry man is an angry man.
Lets support the local content initiative that will empower our nation to feed her people.
God bless Nigeria.