Submitted by Norm on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 20:12

A vendor arranges bags of rice at the Wuse market in Abuja Why UCANX: Nigeria closes part of border with Benin to check rice smuggling: “The country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman. “We cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue.” The government has said Nigeria’s imports of rice and wheat together cost almost $4 billion a year but its 190 million people rely on imports for most of what they consume due to limited manufacturing capacity.

The country has considered developing agriculture for export to earn more hard currency and to increase revenues from outside its dominant oil industry.

Earlier this month, Buhari told the central bank to stop providing foreign exchange for food imports as part of his drive to bolster the country’s agriculture sector.