• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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I will not set up price control board – Tinubu

Yam, rice, garri prices surge by 200% under Emefiele

President Bola Tinubu has rejected the idea of establishing Commodity Price Control Board that will regulate prices of commodities.

The President made the declaration at a meeting with 36 state governors, attended by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the National Security Adviser, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the DSS, and some ministers at the State House in Abuja on Thursday.

Recall that Vice President Kashim Shettima has on Tuesday hinted at plans to establish a National Commodity Board as a solution to the escalating food inflation in the country.

Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant to The President on Media and Communications, had in a statement on Tuesday, disclosed that the Vice President disclosed this during a two-day high-level strategic meeting on climate change, food systems and resource mobilisation held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while delivering his address titled, “Climate Resilience and Food Security: Nigeria’s Vision for the Future”.

Shettima said the two-day event is an attestation of Nigeria’s efforts at mitigating the effects of climate change and ensuring food security for Nigerians.

Tackling price volatility, the board will be given the mandate to assess and regulate food prices, as well as maintain a strategic food reserve for stabilizing prices of crucial grains and other food items.

“Our solution to the potential food crisis has become immediate, medium, and long-term strategies. The short-term strategy entails revitalizing food supply through specific interventions like the distribution of fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to counteract the effects of subsidy removal; fostering collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources for efficient farmland irrigation, ensuring year-round food production; and addressing price volatility by establishing a National Commodity Board.

“This board will continually assess and regulate food prices, maintaining a strategic food reserve for stabilizing prices of crucial grains and other food items,” the VP stated.

Tinubu rejects importation option

But President Tinubu, while addressing the Governors on Thursday, said ” What I will not do is to set a price control board. I will not also approve the importation of food. We should be able to get ourselves out of the situation we found ourselves in, because importation will allow rent seekers to perpetrate fraud and mismanagement at our collective expense.

The President added that ” We would rather support farmers with the schemes that will make them go to the farm and grow more food for everyone in the country”.

He said his administration is evolving home-grown solutions to address the nation’s food security challenges by setting up schemes to support local production and discourage all forms of rent-seeking that are associated with food importation.

On security, President Tinubu approved the establishment of a committee comprising state governors and representatives of the federal government to, among other things, explore the modalities for establishing state police.

The President further endorsed the training and equipping of forest rangers by sub-national governments to safeguard human and natural resources in local communities.

“My position at this meeting is that we must move aggressively and establish a committee to look critically at the issues raised, including the possibility of establishing state police.

“From Kano, we have read reports about large-scale hoarding of food in some warehouses. The National Security Adviser (NSA), the Inspector-General of Police, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services should coordinate very closely and ensure that security agencies in the states inspect such warehouses with follow up action.

“We must ensure that speculators, hoarders, and rent seekers are not allowed to sabotage our efforts in ensuring the wide availability of food to all Nigerians.

“We must also look at the rapid but thoughtful implementation of our livestock development and management plans, including dairy farming and others,” the President stated.

CBN must be allowed to do their job, says Tinubu

President Tinubu also urged the governors to trust the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the management of the country’s monetary policy, emphasizing the importance of allowing designated institutions to fulfill their mandate effectively.

He said the ‘cacophony of postulations’ on the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates was unduly affecting the market negatively.

“Every one of us can not be an expert. If we have given someone an assignment, let us allow them to do it. If they can not do it, then we find a way to quickly get them out of the system,” the President affirmed.

President Tinubu asked the governors to always make the welfare and prosperity of the people a priority of their development programmes, assuring them that the federal government will continue to work diligently to improve the nation’s revenue profile.

At the meeting, the President and the governors emphasized the importance of working together to address issues of insecurity, food security, and out-of-school children.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) expressed appreciation to President Tinubu for convening the meeting and affirmed the governors’ commitment to partnering closely with the federal government.