Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said that Nigeria is now the second largest producer of rice in the world.
He was speaking during a special interactive session with some youths organized by Citizens Support for Good Governance in Nigeria, over the weekend.
Speaking on the efforts being made by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to restructure the economy, Shehu urged Nigerians to exercise more patience as the administration met a dire situation on assumption of office.
“No country will develop when you have to import virtually everything, including tooth pick and tissue paper,” he said.
“All the food we eat in this country was being imported. So, all of the money earned was just going to buy food.
“But as I speak to you now, Nigeria just achieved the record of the second largest producer of rice in the world.
“The rice revolution just started a year ago. Some of you from Nasarawa know the kind of things going on there.
“A newspaper did an investigation in Kebbi and they found out that there were 48,000 new millionaires in Kebbi state alone last year for growing rice,” Shehu noted.
The Presidential spokesman said that Nigeria’s over dependence on oil “has killed this country and we cannot continue like this.”
“So, the diversification of the economy means more money will be in the hands of ordinary Nigerians. And there will be widespread prosperity all over the country,” he said.
“The economy is getting better, oil price is going up and the policies of government in the Niger Delta are beginning to calm things down.
“So, all we require of you is to be patient, President Muhammadu Buhari is a long distance runner. He is not looking for short-term gain that people will just clap at him and those advantages just disappear.
“He wants to build a future of prosperity, a future that will be everlasting; something that will stay for generation upon generation.”