The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh is saddened that the nation spends N7.2bn annually for the importation of toothpick.
Ogbeh who disclosed this on Tuesday said it was a sorry case as we spend our hard earned money on non-essentials.
According to Ogbeh, the revelation is from a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report. The report also said that Nigeria imports five million eggs daily from South Africa.
Ogbeh said, “We depended on Thailand, India and Vietnam to feed us with rice, we depend on other countries to feed us with tomato paste; we depend on others even for tooth picks at the cost of 18 million dollars per annum. We depend on Brazil for sugar; and we also depend even now on other countries for pepper and so on. We import 5 million eggs per a day from South Africa. We bring sliced potatoes from South Africa. We spend $600 million in importing fish a year. There’s no reason why we can’t grow our fish here.
“We bring in milk and milk products to the tune of $1 billion dollars per annum because our cows don’t yield enough milk. One litre per a day and the meat you eat is as good as plastic because the cows walk too much. To walk from Maidugiri to Lagos is a bit of excessive exercise and when we spoke of special grasses to feed the cows, we got all the abuse in the world on the internet because those who don’t know about the subjects got involved.”