Rice Processors Association of Nigeria has called on the federal government to come to their aid on account of unscrupulous activities by some firms to collapse the local industry.
Making the call on behalf of the association was Chief Mike Aondoakaa, chairman of Mikap Nigeria Limited, the producers of Miva rice, located in Makurdi, Benue State and former attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice at a press conference in Makurdi recently.
Aondoakaa urged the government to as a matter of urgency, beam their searchlights on the activities of those few importers manipulating the market.
“We, local rice millers, are crying for help. The federal government should come to our aid or, else, in the next three months we will be out of market and that would not be good for the country.
“This is evident in the activities of few rice importers who are refusing to play by the rules of this country, because they have been allowed to manipulate the market. Their target is to make local rice mills collapse,” he said.
He also said the suspected importers were bringing rice into the country through the back door; dumping same in the market at prices far below that of the local millers.
While adding that the intention of the importers was to ensure that importation of rice continued in the country despite government’s effort at encouraging local production, he revealed that the companies involved in the deal were also guilty of refusing to pay customs duties on the product.
Aondoakaa therefore, urged the outgoing government and the incoming one to look into the matter to avoid rendering nigerians unemployed.