…As Nigeria records reduced rice import***
The United States Institute of Peace has denied predicting victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 General Election in Nigeria.
The Institute in a statement on its website on Tuesday captioned: “Correcting a Media Error: USIP Makes No Prediction on Nigerian Election”, stressed that the report by many Nigerian media that the Institute’s 20-page report on risk to a peaceful election in Nigeria, predicted victory for Buhari was false.
USIP therefore stressed that the reports were erroneous adding that the Institute was non-partisan and its only interest in elections was that of preventing violence not on the outcome.
“A few Nigerian newspapers reported erroneously this week that the U.S. Institute of Peace has made a prediction about the possible outcome of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election.
“USIP never makes predictions about election outcomes and has not done so in this case. The Institute’s work on elections is confined to helping nations avoid electoral violence.
“The erroneous news accounts misrepresent USIP’s recent 20-page report on the risks to a peaceful 2019 election in Nigeria.”This study is based on interviews across the country with more than 200 Nigerian respondents—election administrators, political party representatives, security officials, civil society and youth groups, the media, traditional and religious leaders, prominent community figures, business people, academics and others.
“The USIP report noted that, in the interviews, “some respondents” discussed their own views of Nigerian public perceptions about an election outcome.
“A Nigerian news account mis-reported this passage as a USIP prediction of the outcome, and other Nigerian news organizations repeated the error.
As USIP is a strictly nonpartisan institution, its work on elections focuses entirely on preventing violence.
In the meantime, the volume of rice importation into Nigeria (in metric tonnes) has declined drastically in 2018, judging by figures obtained from various official sources.
Indeed, figures obtained from India and Thailand, which are dominant rice exporters to Nigeria indicate that as at September, the latter had so far exported about 5,161 metric tonnes of rice to Nigeria, while the former sold only a paltry 426 tons as at July 2018.
Attributing the reduction to concerted effort by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor while exchanging views with reporters, also confirmed that the bank had not allocated any foreign exchange for the importation of rice this year.
According to Mr. Okorafor, the figures being bandied in certain quarters were based on unrealistic assumptions such as satellite mapping of farms, expected demand by politicians for election campaigns as well as expected losses from flooding, all of which led to unauthentic conclusions that the country had imported or could import 400,000 more metric tons.
The spokes man for the CBN further noted that the combined figure of 5, 587 tons of rice imports from India and Thailand may have been rice imported on not-valid-for-forex basis.
Meanwhile, trade figures for the second quarter of 2018 received from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that total imports value was N2,106.7 billion; -16.3 per cent lower than Q1, 2018 (N2518.26 billion) and – 19.9 per cent lower than Q1, 2017 (N2,631.65 billion). The report on the Bureau’s site showed that the value of imported agricultural goods in the second quarter of 2018 (N224.52 billion) increased by 21.7 per cent from Q1, 2018 (N184.49 billion) and lower by -3.14 per cent from Q2, 2017 (N231.80 billion).
The NBS reports that the value of manufactured goods imported in Q2 2018 (N1,175.86 billion) declined by -1.2% over the previous quarter (N1,189.97 billion) but increased by 1.6% over the same quarter in 2017.
Citizen with additional report from Nation