The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, has described the report that Nigeria’s rice import has increased by 400,000 tonnes as “fake news.”
Emefiele had said in a report last week that he read that a United States agency said Nigeria’s rice imports had increased by 400,000 tonnes in 2018.
The CBN governor dismissed the report as “false and fake news”.
One week after, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects Nigeria will import 400,000 tonnes of rice in 2019, becoming the second largest importer of rice in the world, after just China.
“China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d’Ivoire, and Iran,” the USDA report read.
“Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase.”
Reacting to the report while speaking at the 2018 Nigeria Investment Conference hosted by the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Society of Nigeria in Lagos last week, Emefiele said Nigeria has imported only 25,000 tonnes of rice in 2018, dismissing the projections.
His words: “I was reading a report where the United States said the volume of imports of rice increased by 400,000 tonnes,” he said.
“I am not a politician, but people should be very mindful when they open their mouths to say what is untrue because we would come out as central bank to attack it particularly if you use data incorrectly.
“I seize the opportunity to say that it is untrue. The data that we have today shows that rice imported legally into the country is less than 25,000 tonnes in 2018 so far.
“Then how come an agency which has not been to Nigeria or even been to the farms to see what we are doing, just come up and say that Nigeria has imported 400,000 tonnes above what it normally should import?
“Go to the data of countries that export rice, you would see their data; you would find the quantity of rice imported by Nigeria. This is false and fake news.”