The Federal Government on Wednesday gave the assurance that in spite of the present hardships in the country, the citizenry would soon get a new lease of life. The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance while addressing State House Correspondents in reaction to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent criticisms of the Buhari administration. The minister rolled out the achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in economic revamp but said that such positive indices might not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians. “Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now.
“This is because the good news from the agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice. “And our massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most vulnerable in the society,’’ he said. The minister stated that when the administration assumed office in 2015, some six million farmers were involved in rice production. He said that through its Anchor Borrowers’ programme “we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers. “The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped from 644 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is phenomenal.
“Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains, especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. “We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the U.S., the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities. “For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition. “Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production; we account for 70% of the world’s yam production; in two years, we hope to be the world’s largest exporter of yam,’’ he added.