President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Prof. Shinichi Kitaoka, has described the importation of rice by Nigeria as ‘ridiculous,’ given its natural endowments for agricultural revolution in Africa. He said the country has huge agriculture potentials which when utilised, would triple its export of rice to other countries.
Kitaoka who noted that JICA has executed projects worth over N600 billion since it came into Nigeria said:“My understanding is that, Nigeria is key to all Africa and if the country becomes unstable, it is difficult to expect Africa as a whole to be stable and develop.
“Nigeria is a rich country and I am impressed by the green land and the huge potential of more and more agricultural production,” he added.
“Eleven years after my contact with ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, in terms of the economy, Nigeria was number two after South-Africa. Today, Nigeria is the most important country in Africa in terms of population and economic size, even with the difficulty in the northeast and the sharp drop in oil revenue.
But we need a stable Africa, prosperous Africa and Nigeria’s development and stability is a key to that. So, our interests are in general and not very specific. In my meeting with the government officials, nothing has been opened yet, but there are a couple of things that we are thinking about,” he added.
He disclosed that the agency’s biggest plans in the future is the urban mass transit system in Lagos, in line with our universal programmes for all the developing countries.