Nigeria spends $4.6b to import fruits concentrate yearly

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Nigeria spends $4.6 billion yearly on the importation of fruit concentrates for juice production, even as natural fruits waste away, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbe has said. He lamented that the influx of imported and adulterated food products into the country is hurting local fruit industries.

Speaking at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Rural Development yesterday in Abuja, he said the Federal Government is owing suppliers of fertilizer about N42 billion. He said the debt was due to inability of states to meet their 25 per cent counterpart funding of the fertilizer subsidy scheme.

The Minister, who said most of the goods on the imports prohibition list still find their way into the country through the border towns of Seme in Niger Republic and Cameroon. Chief Ogbe lamented that in just one night last week, 300 trucks of expired rice, some already 10 years old, found their way into Nigeria.

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