By patronizing local rice you are encouraging Nigerian farmers to produce more while encouraging local rice millers to increase capacity. With increased capacity come quality improvement. In return, If rice millers increase their capacity and quality their sales would increase and soon Nigeria would resign from the league of rice importers and join the league of rice exporters.
Resigning from the league importers and joining the league exporters would translate into jobs creation and economic empowerment. That’s saying, the abundant job opportunities created by rice farmers and millers in Thailand would now return to Nigeria where rice farmers and millers would create abundant jobs for Nigerian youth which, as another benefit, would reduce youth restiveness and anti-social tendencies by reduced idleness. Nigerian youth would be gainfully employed and no longer idle for the devil to turn their minds into a workshop.
The unpolished and haphazardly process domestic rice we have to endure is a contribution we all must strive to make to turn Nigeria from a consumer to a producer nation for our youth to be gainfully employed and their minds taken off banditry, drug addiction, armed robbery, cultism, gangsterism etc. crushing a stone in a spoonful of rice once in a while is not a big price to pay for a healthy youth generation
To the rice smugglers, know that you are an enemy of the nation if your business is threat to government efforts of making Nigeria self-sufficient while challenging its ambition to reclaim its natural position of a world acclaimed food producer. Know that for every bag of rice you smuggled into Nigeria, you are building one Thailand youth and destroying one Nigerian youth. And yes, at the end of it, Thailand would not suffer the effect of unemployment and idleness of Nigerian youth — a direct result of your selfish choice of outing self before your country. It’s Nigerians — YOU AND ME — that would deal with the mess.
The mansions you built from the proceeds of your smuggling business; mansions built like prisons complete with high walls and electric fence, would not save you from the anger of a denied and frustrated youth generation. That already Nigerian youth are finding alternative means of survival in banditry, cultism, robbery and kidnapping should tell you how interlinked economic sabotage and a nation’s development are. Now we are all prisoners in Nigeria thanks to your unpatriotic and selfish choice of feeding fat on the weakness of Nigeria to protect itself from foreign economic invasion.
Let’s consider this a second chance to get it right. Of course, we have spent so long getting better at being useless that being useful as a nation reads, sounds and feels like being useless but, that shouldn’t discourage the few yet to lose their senses to insist on putting Nigeria back on track. But for our genetic unpatriotic disposition, no Nigerian need to be harassed or killed on the streets of South Africa — the South Africa we saved from slavery few decades ago. Ditto, no Nigerian need to be a second class citizen in Ghana (of all places Ghana), the Ghana of the “Ghana-must-go” infamy!
Nigerians have no business with poverty. Actually Nigeria should be scored low if it’s an average not an excellent nation. Our position is at the very top given the enormous human and natural resources at our disposal. And sure, we will get there but only if we collectively decide to save ourselves from ourselves.
Danmalam was a former ssa social media to katsina state governor and former chief of staff to minister of sports.