Naija News reports that the minister cried out during a budget defence session at the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Ogbeh lamented the high rate of food importation, saying local farmers are being affected by the ‘annoying situation’ of Nigerians buying pizza from the United Kingdom.
lamenting that Nigeria imports almost everything, Ogbeh said, “Let nobody take it lightly, these guys have seized this country’s economy, taken us hostage and they have no intentions of giving up. Because this is a huge and very sweet market and they have taken control.
“Every time you bring in a shipload of rice, you also bring in a shipload of unemployment, because you are transferring your wealth to sustain other economies. Somehow, Nigerians didn’t notice it, so we became a nation of importers.
“Toothpick costs us $18 million; tomato paste costs us $400 million to import. Meanwhile, a basket in town is less than N2000; the farmers are losing money because the processors don’t have enough funds to set up factories.”
The minister also said, “We import milk, sugar, toothpick, toothpaste, pencil, items we don’t make; Vegetable, lettuce, cabbage come from South America through Dubai and arrives here for sale.
“There are also Nigerians who would rather have the imported item if it is not imported, it is not right, it shows status, class, that they only eat imported things.
The minister added that “There are Nigerians who use their cellphones to import pizza from London. That’s where we are, and it’s a very annoying situation.”