Nigerian authorities are arguing over how to respond to a shortage of rice. Some think more should be imported, while others think local production should be increased.The price has reportedly jumped more than 100 per cent, and families across the country say it’s hurting them.
Lagos housewife Maureen Solomon-Okereke says her family is having a hard time coping with the almost daily increases in the price of rice. “It’s really bad, honestly. The other day (when)I went to the market I could not believe what I heard. We cope but it is quite hard because we have to reduce every other thing we do. We have to buy rice, which of course is the main food here in Nigeria, but not the quantity we used to buy before. For example, [in the past we bought] like ten cups, but right now we buy seven or six because the price is quite much.”
Okereke says the government should concentrate on local rice production as a long-term measure (protection) against sudden increases. “I think growing more rice here [is] better and the earlier they do it the better, because the whole foreign rice issue thing, I don’t know when they are going to implement it. But right now it will be good if they stop it and start growing more rice here in Nigeria.
Okereke says an average family is going through harsh times. “For [a family of four], here in Lagos, they measure rice in derica’s, so three of it is enough, but mainly we buy in bags.”