President Bola Tinubu has declared a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria.
Presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, made this known while briefing State House correspondent on Thursday.
The President 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 directive was said to be in line with the Tinubu administration’s position on ensuring that the most vulnerable are supported.
Alake said President is not unmindful of the rising cost of food and its effect on the pocket of citizens.
The President also directed the immediate release 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.
“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 said the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to play a role of funding the agricultural value chain.
He said 500,000 hectares of have already been mapped land to increase availability of arable land for farming.
Tinubu said revenue from food and agricultural exports would be increased.
By Kayode Oyero
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