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Border closure: Nigerians avoiding local rice- Seller laments low patronage

Quzeem Rofiat, Olajide Abdulsamad, Sanni Abdulameed 

An Ilorin based rice dealer, Mallam Mahmud Ismail has lamented low patronages facing rice marketers from their customers since the closure of borders across the country.
Ismail who stated this while speaking with National Moonlight reporters in Ilorin, said only few customers requested and patronized Nigerian rice as they are still been carried away by the foreign rice and always preferred the foreign rice.
Some of the sellers who also spoke with newsmen confirmed that consumers still prefer to pay more for foreign rice than the cheaper locally produced one.
“Hardly will you see one out of 10 customers request for local rice in my shop. They always want the foreign rice,” Ismail said.
Also speaking, Mrs. Bimpe Ekundayo said customers complained about poor quality of the local rice.
“Many customers complain of stone particles and low quality of local rice. I make sales of 10 bags of foreign rice to 4 bags of Nigerian rice due to the quality,” Ekundayo said.
Another seller popularly called Iya Ibeji at Ipata market said turnover of local rice is very low compare with foreign rice.
“Local rice is always second choice in their budget. They feel reluctant and sad when I suggest that they should buy local rice. They are even ready to pay more for the foreign rice,” she said.
Mrs. Iyabo Aina called on the Federal Government to lift ban on the importation of rice and allow free flow of the product in the country.
“We are not making sales anymore. Nobody is ready to buy local rice and it is affecting our business. Government should do something on time,” Aina said.
However, Mr. Stephen Ikechukwu, another seller, lamented that the closure of the borders against importation of foreign rice had caused sharp increase in the general prices of rice in the market.
“Now, we sell local rice for N20, 800 while the foreign rice is N26, 000. It was never like this before the closure of the border when we used to sell a bag of local rice for N9, 500 and the foreign N13, 000,” he said.
Also, a rice seller, Alhaja Rukayat Usman urged the Federal Government to encourage the public to patronize local rice and stop discriminating against it.
“We need to change our attitude towards locally made products and appreciate Nigerian made. We are fond of prioritizing anything foreign ahead of our locally made products which are bad,” she said.
Border closure: Nigerians avoiding local rice- Seller laments low patronage Reviewed by nationalmoonlight on December 01, 2019 Rating: 5

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