Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh says Thailand has accused President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government of being responsible for the collapse of its seven rice mills as rice importation from the Nigeria fell drastically.
Ogbe made this known at a meeting of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and leadership of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
During the meeting presided over by President Buhari, Ogbeh said Thailand’s Ambassador to Nigeria made the “accusation’’ when he visited him in February. According to the minister, the ambassador lamented that the collapse of the rice mills has increased the unemployment rate in his country from 1.2 per cent to 4 per cent.
His words; “Just like two weeks ago, the Ambassador of Thailand came to my office and said to me that we have really dealt with them.
“But I asked what did we do wrong and he said unemployment in Thailand was one of the lowest in the world, 1.2 per cent, it has gone up to four per cent because seven giant rice mills have shut down because Nigeria’s import has fallen by 95 per cent on rice alone.
“So, Mr President we thank you for the support and we thank all the agencies and those of you in the private sector for your resilience,’’ he said.