• Monday, April 15, 2024
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FG to begin distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains next week

FG commences distribution of free grains in Northwest

The Federal Government has announced readiness to commence the distribution of 42,000 metric tons of assorted grains next week.

It, also promised to commence the second phase of the dry season farming project next week.

On February 14, Abubakar Kyari, the minister of agriculture and food security, at the maiden ministerial briefing, announced the immediate disbursement of grains to cushion the effect of economic austerity.

But Kyari, who addressed journalists along side the Governor of Niger State on Thursday in Abuja, said the process would commence next week without giving any reason for the postponement.

Kyari explained that Niger State would be used as a pilot state for the distribution with the support of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Armed Forces, Police Force and other security agencies.

He said: “Hopefully, by next weekend we should be able to roll off. We are starting with Niger State then we will go to all the zones for distribution, it is 42, 000 metric tons of assorted grains like maize, sorghum, millet and garri.

“You know delivery is another issue. As soon as possible, we are going to start. We are starting with local governments to the states.

“So, it would be on the template of NEMA. It is the one doing the distribution through the office of the national security adviser.”

Read also:El-Buba urges to FG: Ensure grains released reach hungry Nigerians

He assured Nigerians that the distribution would be transparent, contrary to what happened in the past.

“The office of the national security adviser is heavily involved and the Directorate of State Services (DSS), police and the Armed Forces.

“It is going to be a very robust operations with media involvement. It is going to be very transparent. I have seen the matrix that has been done.

“I know that what everybody is worried about is what has happened in the past. We will set out a template that will be a worthy exercise.”

Read also:NEMA donates grains, relief materials to Kwara

Meanwhile, Niger State governor, Mohammed Umar Bago, said 120 trucks of grains had been purchased for distribution.

He said he was fed up of collecting agro inputs from anybody, adding that the state was ready to take its agricultural destiny in its hand.

“We want to invite Mr President to Niger State for the commissioning of the mechanisation Niger State has been able to provide for agriculture. And, also, discuss the issue of palliatives by the Federal Government for food distribution from the grain reserves we have across the country, and also use Niger as a pilot state in the North Central so that it can commence in earnest.

“By next week by the grace of God. What we are doing as a state is that Niger has offered itself as a pilot state in terms of delivering the dividends of democracy in terms of agriculture and Mr President agenda on agriculture and food security and as such our sister states are coming on board.

“But we are leading. So, the Ministry of Agriculture is giving us the necessary support inputs and extension services so that we can push it.”

Speaking on the distribution module, he said: “The template is with NEMA. But I am sure it is going to cut across thousands of people.

“The state government in its effort has acquired over N120 trucks of food to complement what the Federal Government is doing so that it can reach more people. The grains are from rice, millet, sorghum, beans.”

He added: “We will continue to cultivate. We will continue to farm. We are tired of collecting hand outs from any other person.

“So, we are doing a lot of sensitisation in terms of education for our farmers and rural dwellers to understand that the only way out of this crisis is to go back to agriculture.

“Agriculture is very vast. Animal husbandry is one of it. Aquaculture is one of it. Knowing full well that the state has a lot of body of water, aquaculture is the next line of business. We are encouraging our people to venture into.”