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Farmers Urge FG to Restore Duties on Food Importation Immediately

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Abuja, Nigeria –The National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arc. Kabir Ibrahim, has expressed concerns over the federal government’s decision to allow duty-free importation of food items, warning it could undermine local production gains in key staples like maize, rice, and wheat.

In an interview with Nairametrics on Tuesday, Ibrahim acknowledged that while the current food security crisis necessitates some level of trade liberalisation, imports should be strictly limited to a 150-day period.

“The situation with food security today requires some form of trade liberalisation and imports but should not exceed the stipulated 150 days period,” Ibrahim stated. He emphasized that the importation of rice would be particularly detrimental to Nigerians who have heavily invested in its production and processing.

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Ibrahim called for government investment through subsidies on inputs such as machinery, fertilizers, and chemicals to ensure a sustainable food system in the country. “The gains made in internal sufficiency will certainly be lost in some of the three competencies mentioned viz; rice, maize and wheat,” he added.

“Rice importation would be very painful for those who have invested heavily in production and processing. The issues with wheat and maize are somewhat easier to handle, as there has always been some limited importation.”

Ibrahim also stressed the need for sustained support for local agriculture. “To really have a sustainable food system, Nigeria should encourage and intensify production, processing, distribution, and marketing of competences in which we have a proven comparative advantage by providing sustainable subsidies to inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals, and mechanization.”

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He conceded that controlled importation within a limited period could help alleviate hardships but cautioned against extending it beyond the agreed five months or 150 days and the agreed quotas of 500,000 metric tonnes.
Background:

The federal government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, recently announced plans to begin duty-free importation of select food commodities, including rice, maize, and wheat. This initiative aims to increase food supply and replenish the strategic grain reserve.

The government also plans to establish a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) for commodities and ramp up production, particularly among smallholder farmers, during the 2024/2025 farming season. These measures are part of broader efforts to combat the severe food crisis currently facing Nigeria.

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Food inflation in Nigeria surpassed 40% in May 2024, with prices of staple foods like rice, maize, wheat, bread, and beans more than doubling over the past year. Projections from international development organizations, including the World Bank, FAO, and World Food Program (WFP), indicate that around 16% of Nigerians will experience severe hunger in 2024 due to the ongoing food crisis….READ FULL ARTICLE

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Ndume: Tinubu Has Resolved To Be A One-term President, Nigerians Must Ensure His Defeat In 2027 – Lukman

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A former National Vice Chairman (North-west) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has said the actions of President Bola Tinubu have suggested that he is not interested in serving a second term as Nigeria’s leader….READ FULL ARTICLE

The former APC chieftain added that both President Tinubu and the APC are charting the way to lose the 2027 presidential elections and Nigerians must help them to taste defeat.

Speaking in a statement on Thursday, against the background of the sack of Borno South Senator, Ali Ndume as the Chief Whip of the Senate on Wednesday, Lukman said it is a testament to the fact that the current administration does not want to be criticized.

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He added that the Tinubu government and the ruling APC are pushing Nigeria to the edges of dictatorial governance similar to what Nigerians witnessed during the days of military government under late General Sani Abacha.

Lukman, in a statement titled, “Fanatical Mindset,” lamented that free speech is under threat and personal liberties of the citizens are being encroached upon.

He also called out the Senate for allowing its operational independence to be rubbished after Ndume was removed based on a letter signed by the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, arguing that there was nowhere in the APC

Constitution where the National Chairman, National Secretary, or any official, or even the National Working Committee, is given the powers to summarily remove any principal officer of the National Assembly.

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The former chieftain said it is a shame that the APC and the Senate Caucus got involved in such acts of illegality.

He said:“The way things are, it is almost as if President Asiwaju Tinubu has resolved that he will only be a one term President. Under his watch, the living conditions of Nigerians is continuously getting worse. Instead of making effort to develop clear plans to address the situation, the government is becoming more intolerant to criticism.

“Any democracy that cannot accommodate criticism is no democracy. A democracy that subverts fair hearing is a dictatorship. A democracy that permits a ruling party to demobilise its organs and inadvertently expels its members is worse than a military government.”

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“So long as APC, its leadership and Asiwaju Tinubu’s government have taken the self-destructive path, which is equivalent to a declaration of working end their tenure in 2027, patriotic Nigerians must help them to ensure their defeat in 2027!”…READ FULL ARTICLE

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20 Trucks of Rice: It will not get to those suffering. The Tinubu government isn’t ready to listen to advice – Primate Ayodele

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Primate Elijah Ayodele, leader of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has criticized the Nigerian federal government for distributing trucks of rice to state governments. He said the initiative would only result in increased corruption and hardship, as governors are indifferent to the needs of the impoverished….READ FULL ARTICLE

In a statement by his media aide, Oluwatosin Osho, Ayodele asserted that the rice would not reach those truly in need, but would instead be distributed among party members.

He also claimed President Tinubu’s administration was unwilling to heed constructive advice.

He said;‘’There is no way this will get to the needy, those who are suffering

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“The Tinubu government isn’t ready to listen to advice. They are not doing what is feasible, Nigerians are hungry and angry, everyone is affected, the president must be careful.

‘’Sending trucks of rice to governors that don’t care about the needs of the people, that don’t share in people’s pains, is tantamount to arbitrary corruption. They will give it to their party members, loyalists and even hoard it.

“Why is this government not listening? The more you bring such, the more the hardship. The truck of rice will only increase hardship and poverty, that’s not the solution.’’

‘’This is simple mathematics, like God revealed to Pharaoh about famine, God has revealed to prophets the situation of Nigeria, we have said this in 2022 about what Nigeria will experience, it is better the government listens before it kills the economy.

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‘’The government should have taken the trucks to markets across the country and sold them at a very subsidized rate to the needy. The impact will be felt more than giving it to state governors,” he added….READ FULL ARTICLE

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He Is Always Talking About My Structure, My Structure, What Are The Structures For? -Dan Nwanyanwu

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According to the report from the Sun, the chairman of the Zenith Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu acknowledged that Nyesom Wike possesses significant influence within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at both the state and national levels….READ FULL ARTICLE

He questioned the purpose of these political structures that Wike frequently refers to as his

own, highlighting the fact that these structures existed before Wike’s rise to power.

He suggested that while there might not be explicit evidence in the form of written or verbal statements, the influence and impact of these

structures are evident to those familiar with the inner workings of politics.

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He said, “He (Wike) has the structure of PDP and Rivers, he has the structure of PDP in Rivers, he has the structure of PDP at the national,

and he’s always talking about my structure, my structure, what are the structures for? Somebody had them before you came, you see if you’re looking for evidence that something is written or that something is said,

you won’t find it, if you’re in that game, and you know how these things work, the evidence is everywhere.”…READ FULL ARTICLE

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