Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
Rice millers on Thursday declared that they would shut down some of their plants in some parts of the country following the destruction of some of their mills by protesters during the widespread #EndSARS protests.
Dealers under the aegis of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria said they were taken aback at the devastating destruction and looting carried out against members of RIMAN.
“RIMAN is shocked and sad at the level of havoc that was carried out on these rice mills and other government and private properties within the country,” the association’s National President, Peter Dama, said.
He added, “The resultant impact on these rice mills will create some deficits in our members’ contribution to national food security and rice value chain, as the affected rice mills will be shut down for a while at this critical period with huge debts to pay.”
Dama, who disclosed this in statement issued in Abuja by RIMAN and signed by its president, stated that some of the affected mills included Shamad Rice Mill, Yola; Glams Foods, Lagos.
He said, “This act is condemnable, highly regrettable and insensitive.
“Regrettably, during these attacks, tonnes of milled rice, paddy, furniture, machines, equipment and operational vehicles were destroyed and looted, while some parts of buildings were set ablaze.”
RIMAN therefore called on governmpent to urgently assist the rice millers with funds to rebuild and restock to commence their operations, as most of them took loans to run their businesses.
It also appealed to government to provide adequate security coverage to rice mills that were under threat in order to avert future occurrence.
The association urged Nigerian Youths to sheath their swords since they had spoken loud and clear, adding that the government had heard their demands.
It said the youths should therefore retreat and await the implementation of government promises.