10 Nigerian states will each get rice milling machines worth US $30m. These states, according to the Federal Government that Kaduna, Kogi, Benue, Anambra, Bayelsa and five others. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, said that the aforementioned states would be charged with the responsibility of indicating interest as well as making down payments for the respective mills. He further added the states must express their technical capacity to own and operate the mill.
According to Mr. Ogbeh, the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) is expected to take over the loans’ repayment in the next 10 years. This is after the installation of the mills. He further added that there are about 16 existing large rice mills from the already procured 100 mills. Each of these, he says, have the capacity to mill 100 tonnes of rice paddy daily while others could mill about 300 tonnes daily.
He also pointed out that Dangote just brought in 10 milling machines. These are set to produce one million tonnes of rice per annum. This, he says, is in addition to the smaller mills they had doled out earlier; 200 mills of 10 tonnes and 20 tonnes per annum operating in villages and small corners equipped with the stoners.
Mr. Ogbeh explained that they are buying smaller mills and giving them out because they tend to produce more than the bigger mills put together. The only challenge they face in this venture, he added, is the fact that the smaller mills are scattered across the country.
On the other hand, Managing Director, BoA, Kabir Mohammed, assured that project financing will not be an issue. Mr. Mohammed too charge of restating commitment to ensure the project is successful while meeting the delivery targets.