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Nigeria’s president declares state of emergency on food security 

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Worried by the rising cost of food and its attendant impacts on the masses, Nigeria’s president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared a state of emergency on food security in the country. 

The president also directed that all matters pertaining to food and water availability and affordability, as essential livelihood items, be included within the purview of the National Security Council.

The Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, made this known on Thursday while briefing State House correspondents following Tinubu’s meeting with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. ⁣

According to him, the directive was in line with the present administration’s position on ensuring that vulnerable members of the society are supported. He noted that the president was not unmindful of the rising cost of food and its effect on citizens.

The President also directed the immediate release of fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal.

“There must be an urgent synergy between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources to ensure adequate irrigation of farmlands and to guarantee that food is produced all-year round,” the President was quoted as saying.

Also read: Climate change: 60m people to face food crisis in Africa – WHO

 

“We shall create and support a National Commodity Board that will review and continuously assess food prices as well as maintain a strategic food reserve that will be used as a price stabilisation mechanism for critical grains and other food items. Through this board, government will moderate spikes and dips in food prices.

“To achieve this, we have the following stakeholders on board to support the intervention effort of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu: The National Commodity Exchange (NCX), Seed Companies, National Seed Council and Research institutes, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Food Processing/ Agric Processing associations, private sector holders & Prime Anchors, small holder farmers, crop associations and Fertilizer producers, blenders and suppliers associations to mention a few.

“We will engage our security architecture to protect the farms and the farmers so that farmers can return to the farmlands without fear of attacks.”

The President was quoted as saying that the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to play a role in funding the agricultural value chain while also disclosing that 500,000 hectares of land have already been mapped to increase the availability of arable land for farming.

With this, Alake said that President Tinubu’s mandate to create jobs for the teeming youth population will be achieved with between five and ten million more jobs created within the value chain, working with the current 500,000 hectares of arable land and the several hundreds of thousands more farmlands to be developed in the medium term.

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