By Our Business Editor
Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), said it has lost about N228m to the recent looting of warehouses by hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARs protests across the country.
About 29 warehouses, belonging to RIFAN members, were vandalised with milled rice and paddy looted to the tune of N228m. This excludes vandalisation of equipment and private properties at the premises of the rice mill factories.
In a statement yesterday, in Abuja, the National President of RIMAN, Peter Dama, raised concern that unless there is urgent government intervention, the already fragile rice production industry may not meet the rising demand by Nigerians.
He condemned the devastating destructions, lootings carried out by miscreants in the name of #EndSARs protests against its members, noting that the tons of milled rice, paddy, furniture, equipment and operational vehicles at the premises of the rice factories were destroyed and looted, while parts of some of the buildings were set ablaze.
“At the moment, these rice factories are in rubbles. RIMAN is, therefore, shocked and sad at the level of the havoc that was carried out on these mills and other government and private properties within the country.”
According to the association, the resultant impacts on the rice mills will create deficits in their contribution to the national food security and rice value chain, as the affected factories will be shutdown for a while “at this critical period with huge debts to pay.”
Members of the RIMAN Board of Trustees-Abba Dantata, Imran Amin, Umar Namadi, and Saifudeen Annasir Abdulrahman, appealed to government, to, as a matter of urgency, assist the rice millers with funds to rebuild and restock to commence their operations, as most of them took bank facilities to answer the call by government to add to the food security deficit, particularly on rice self-sufficiency in the country.
They also appealed to government to provide adequate security coverage to rice mills under threat, to avert future occurrence.