President Goodluck Jonathan may ban rice importation in his 2012 budget speech as he Thursday restated the resolve of his administration to stop the importation of food items that the country has the capacity to produce.

He stated this when the G-20 group headed by Professor Jerry Gana came to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to submit the report of the Northern Economic Group Summit which held in Kaduna in March this year.

He insisted that Nigeria has Agricultural potentials which when harnessed can feed the entire African continent.

He warned that his administration would no longer tolerate the mass importation of any item which the country has the capacity to produce, since it would stall the development and transformation he has promised Nigerians, adding that locally produced rice was richer in content than th3 imported ones.

“If you have exotic taste for foreign rice, then be prepared to fly your private jet abroad to buy it, as I will make a major pronouncement on rice in my Budget speech to the National Assembly soon”, he warned.

To make the policy effective, he said he would change the way agriculture was being carried on in the country which he said would also positively change the poverty index once the huge potentials were tapped, stressing the need for private sector driven agricultural system.

On the possibility of striking oil in the north, Jonathan said the chances were high since neighbouring countries that have border with the region have struck oil. He pledged his cooperation in any endeavor that would enhance the development and living standard of the people.

He agreed that there was a correlation between bad economy and violence, pointing out that hunger breeds violence, hence his concentration was on rebuilding the economy and putting food on the table f Nigerians.

Speaking earlier, Professor Gana said the report identified challenges faced by the people of the region especially poor infrastructure, lack of access to finance, poor governance and corruption and security challenges, among others.

“The report identified challenges and constraints such as poor energy supply; weak physical infrastructure; and weak governance systems drained by corruption, as current impediment facing the North”, he said.

Gana asked for “provision of substantial funds to facilitate exploration activities for oil and gas in Chad Basin, Benue through, Bida Basin, Sokoto-Rima Basin, among others; Hydro-electric power transmission lines, especially the proposed Super grid of 765kv, with the following networks: Mambila-Makurdi-Ajaokuta-Gwagwalada-Kano, Ajaokuta-Oshogbo-Papalanto, and Mambila-Jalingo-Yola”, in addition to requesting for improved roads, dam repairs and resuscitation of irrigation system for all season farming.