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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Rice Production: Nigeria Minister of Agriculture Ogbeh lied – Thailand Ambassador


Wattana Kunwongse, Thailand's diplomat to Nigeria, has blamed a claim allegedly made by the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, that Thailand blamed Nigeria for being in charge of the crumple of its seven rice factories following the exceptional fall in rice importation from the nation. 

The represetative, in a letter sent to PremiumTimes on Tuesday, depicted the clergyman's claim as  “misleading and a distortion of the actual discussion that transpired between them”. 

The minister had been cited as saying: “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”.

Nonetheless, the ambassador said Mr. Ogbeh may have lied. “The report is not only misleading but a distortion of the actual conversation between myself and the honourable Minister on 30th January 2018, which was nothing short of positivity and optimism on both sides.

During which I praised President Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the essence of which is the endeavour to move the country to a self-sufficiency and export-oriented economy."

He included that the report couldn't have been more remote from reality as Thailand's legitimate figures show that its rice fare to the world in 2017 achieved 11.48 million tons worth $5.1 billion. 

“Thailand’s rice export to the world in 2017 (January-December 2017) reached 11.48 million tons equalising to $5.1 billion (USD), a 15.54% increase compared to previous years, which is one of the highest figures on the history Thailand’s rice exportation. There is no proof of any shutdown of Thailand’s major rice mills,” he said.

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