Agric Minister Clarifies Statement On Rice Consumption In Nigeria
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Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Audu Ogbeh, has dismissed news reports quoting him as saying ‘Nigerians eat too much rice, that’s why it is expensive’.
According to a statement signed by the minister’s adviser on New media, Aishat Onusi, the minister said the report “is totally false, misleading and a sheer display of irresponsible journalism, reckless sensationalism, and poor ethics.”
He said it was more disappointing that the mischievous headline was “completely at variance with the content of the news story.”
Ogbeh decried the deliberate misinformation by the media which he said has become a frequent occurrence.
He said there was the need “for caution, self-censorship and ethical compliance by journalists and social media activists.”
Part of the statement read: “For the avoidance of doubts, the minister stated that during a recent meeting he held with an indigenous Agro Company investing in the production of Irish Potato in Nigeria, he did talk about the health risk associated with the excessive consumption of rice and advised Nigerians to occasionally substitute rice with potato for improved diet.”
Ogbeh wondered how the statement attributed to him in the headline came about when no supporting statement or quote was provided in the content of the news report.
He advised Nigerians to “beware of misleading headlines; pay close attention to media reports that come with such and should challenge the Press to abide by their professional ethics.”