Food shortage
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As a short-term response to address the food shortage in the country, President Bola Tinubu has ordered the immediate release of various food items from the strategic reserve.

The Rice Millers Association of Nigeria is to also complement the Federal Government’s efforts.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is to release about 42,000 metric tons of maize, millet, garri and other commodities in their strategic reserve.

Also, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has agreed to make available about 60,000 metric tons of rice.

The government is also putting machinery in place to import any food item with shortfalls within the country.

These were the outcomes of the meeting of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at the State House.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, told journalists that the government is prepared to sanction food hoarders.

Idris said: “The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been directed to release about 42,000 metric tons of maize, millet, garri and other commodities in their strategic reserve so that these items will be made available to Nigerians.

“We have held meetings with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria; those who are responsible for producing this rice and we have asked them to open up their storage facilities.

“They’ve told us that they can guarantee about 60,000 metric tons of rice. This will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigerians the next one month to six weeks, perhaps up to two months.

“Now the government is also looking at the possibility, if it becomes absolutely necessary as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians immediately within the next couple of weeks.”

“Now the whole idea of this is to crash the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.”

Idris noted that emergency situation of ensuring food is available to Nigerians requires emergency measures.

“This is an emergency situation. Every nation faces emergency situations like this. It is not the first time that it has happened. Many countries of the world have faced this.

“It is our own time to face this challenge. Government is going to respond adequately and it is already responding adequately.

“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable. And that is what the summary of this meeting entails,” he said.

The Star

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