JUST IN: Why Tinubu Declared State Of Emergency On Food Security — Presidency

Steps to mitigate the sufferings experienced by Nigerians follow­ing the removal of fuel subsidy on May 29, this year, may have seen President Bola Tinubu de­claring a state of emergency on food security….Continue reading 

Special Adviser to the Pres­ident on Special Duties, Com­munications and Strategy, Dele Alake, on Thursday, declared that President Tinubu came to the de­cision after wide consultation with stakeholders in the food and agriculture value chain, co-opting the Central Bank of Nigeria, Customs, Farmers Association, key financial experts, among others. ­

He described the mea­sures as part of Tinubu-led administration’s immediate response to the current food inflation in the country.

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According to him, Tinu­bu being a hands-on-leader who follows developments across the country every day, is not unmindful of the rising cost of food and how it affects the citizens.

He noted that while availability is not a prob­lem, affordability has been a major issue to many Ni­gerians in all parts of the country.

This, he said, has led to a significant drop in demand thereby undermining the viability of the entire ag­riculture and food value chain.

“In line with this ad­ministration’s position on ensuring that the most vulnerable are supported, Mr. President has declared, with immediate effect the following actions: “That a state of emergency on food security be announced im­mediately,” Alake stated on behalf of the Federal Gov­ernment.

The presidential aide went further to state that all matters pertaining to food & water availability and af­fordability, as essential live­lihood items, be included within the purview of the National Security Council.

He said as a direct and immediate response to this crisis, a number of initia­tives will be deployed in the coming weeks to reverse this inflationary trend and guarantee future un­interrupted supplies of af­fordable foods to ordinary Nigerians.

“As with most emergen­cies, there are immediate, medium- and long-term in­terventions and solutions.

“In the immediate term, we intend to deploy some savings from the fuel subsidy removal into the agricultural sector focusing on revamping the agricultural sector.

“In an earlier meeting with agriculture stake­holders (today), we draft­ed a memorandum of partnership between the government and the indi­vidual stakeholder repre­sentatives that encompass­es the decisions taken and actions proposed from our engagements,” he noted.

Among the immediate intervention strategies the government has ad­opted include the imme­diate release of fertilisers and grains to farmers and households to mitigate the effects of the subsidy re­moval.

He also said the Federal Government has adopted 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.

According to the presi­dential aide, Mr. President has made it clear that we cannot be comfortable with seasonal farming. “We can no longer afford to have farming down times.

“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 fertiliser 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 central bank will continue to play a major role of funding the agri­cultural value chain.

“Activation of land banks. There is currently 500,000 hectares of already mapped land that will be used to increase availabil­ity of arable land for farm­ing which will immediately impact food output.

“Mechanisation and land clearing- the govern­ment will also collaborate with mechanisation com­panies to clear more forests and make them available for farming,” Alake stated while briefing State House correspondents.

Commenting on river basins, he said there are currently 11 rivers basins that will ensure planting of crops during the dry season with irrigation schemes that will guarantee contin­uous farming production all year round, to stem the seasonal glut and scarcity that we usually experience.

He said government will equally deploy con­cessionary capital/fund­ing to the sector especially towards fertilizer, process­ing, mechanization, seeds, chemicals, equipment, feed, labour, among others…Continue reading