By Our Correspondent
Woman leader, Abuja Chapter, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs), Amb Rachael Adewumi who doubles as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Takem Investment Nigerian Limited, a multifaceted company said ban of foreign rice into Nigeria by the Federal Government (FG) was a boost to the agricultural sector of the economy, even as she urged her members to remain financially active so as to benefit from the association’s cooperatives.
Speaking on the effect of the ban in her office in Abuja, FCT, she said that she observed with happiness that since FG took the action, many Nigerians invested heavily in rice farming and processing. This she said has boosted the agricultural sector of the economy. Amb Rachael Adewumi said with the development so far, Nigerians found out that local rice is more nutritious than foreign rice.
Making more points, the National Coordinator, Takem Empowerment Initiatives said she observed that before foreign rice were brought down to Nigeria, they were stored in a silo for a long time, making them loose their nutrients, even as she added that the inferiority of foreign rice to the local one was clearly noticeable through their tastes.
According to her, “the ban on foreign rice did not only come out with positive results, but also boosted the agricultural sector of the economy. As you can see, it made us to eat what we could produce, as well as made many Nigerians invest heavily in rice farming and processing.
“With the ban, we have been able to find out that Nigerian rice is more nutritious than the foreign counterpart. Only God knows how long foreign rice have been in silo before bringing them down to us for consumption, making all the nutrients flushed away. But local rice have their nutrients in them. When you eat them, through the taste, you will know that their nutrients are still with them. All the nutrients that are expected for diet balancing and human consumptions are in the local rice.”
For the country to achieve food sufficiency, security and reliance in line with the plan of the Federal Government, she advised government at all levels to encourage farmers. Dr Adewumi however said she has observed with concern that irrespective of the seriousness of Nigerians to heavily invest in the Agriculture sector, they couldn’t produce enough, which according to her made local rice costly, just as she attributed the existence of sand-filled and sand less rice in the country to the kind of milling machine used in the milling of the rice.
The industrialist said the magic behind food sufficiency in Nigeria would be through mechanised farming, suggesting that if the government could provide tractors for hiring, provide high breed rice and fertilizer to farmers, within a short period, according to her the country would produce enough for local consumption and export too. She also added that with positive results through making tractors and high breed available to farmer, the youth would join hand and there will be employment and the magic in agriculture to the economy, according to her will manifest.
Calling on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) not to relent in its efforts towards creation of enough awareness on the importance of the sector to the economy, as well as on the need to diversify to other areas, such as yam, cassava, oil palm, cocoa, poultry, fishery, among others, Mrs Rachael Adewumi said after the oils which is at its finishing point, the next alternative to the economy would be Agriculture, adding that the country is blessed with fertile land to stand the taste of time.
While using the opportunity to give new year message to her members, Dr Rachael Adewumi said the association had a lot of good packages for its members this year, informing that as NANTs has concluded plans to upgrade its cooperatives this year, only active members, according to her will have the opportunity to access loans through the cooperatives at little interest.
“She said: “I want to inform them of our plans to upgrade NANTs cooperatives, so as to be able to be giving them small loans with small interest to members. They should be active financial members in NANTs. Let them be more focused, diligent in the association, because NANTs has a lot of packages for women and other members this year.
“They should all know that government can’t give loan to an individual, but to cooperatives. Let them be prudent and continue to be active for them to benefit from the good packages from the association.”
She also advised them to always put money, earthly wealth and pride aside and put God first in all their dealings, as well as for wives to submit to their husbands as the head of the families, which if done, according to her would go a long way to make the family stronger.
“Nigeria is a circular state and we have people from different religions and ethnic groups in NANTs. We don’t discriminate against ourselves in NANTs, irrespective of religion, tribe, among others. No religion preaches and teaches bad. I advise my members to put God first in all their dealings in this year and wives remember to submit and have respect for their husbands, because their husbands are the heads of their families.
“The success in business begins with fear of God, respect and submission to their husbands. If you want to go for a meeting, be it business meeting or other wise and your husband refuses you to go, if you go, you have yourself to blame. I always tell them to make their husbands happy,” she stated.
Enjoining them to be focused and prudent in management of their businesses and resources, as well as developing the habit of saving, the woman leader said their ability to imbibe saving culture in them would go a long way during an emergency.
Mrs Rachael Adewumi however appealed to the government not to fail to live up to its last year’s promises of giving soft loans to the women and the traders in general, if they upgrade their cooperatives this year. This she said would go a long way for them to add value to their businesses.