Authorities in Nigeria say they will close their border with an unnamed neighbouring country within the next few days to stop foreign rice being smuggled in.
The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed the plan to shut the border yesterday in Abuja while speaking with youths in a leadership clinic under the auspices of Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI). According to him:
“In South East Asia where they grow the rice, if you plant rice in the same place for four to six years continuously, the quantum of arsenic begins to increase.
Arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us. Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they are very sophisticated. Welcome to poison!”
“Poisonous materials” and “arsenic” are among the substances Nigeria’s agricultural minister Audu Ogbeh claims are present in rice imported from China and South East Asia into Africa.
Although he did not mention the particular country and border, Ogbeh noted that shutting the borders had become necessary to encourage local production and sustain the country’s economy.
He explained that the neighbouring country is bent on destroying the economy of the country and discouraging local production of rice, hence the need to shut down the border.