Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) has said that, its members have lost over N228m to the recent looting of warehouses by hoodlums across the country.
About 29 warehouses belonging to the millers were destroyed with milled rice and paddy looted.
In a statement, yesterday in Abuja, the National President of RIMAN, Peter Dama, raised a concern that the fragile rice production industry may not meet the rising demand by Nigerians, unless there is urgent government intervention.
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,” he said.
According to him, 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 have also appealed to the 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 establish the business.
The rice millers urged the government to provide adequate security coverage to rice mills under threat to avert future occurrence.