• Friday, April 12, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NEC agree on deployment of agro-rangers, fertiliser to ease food shortage

Shettima is wrong: No ‘forces’ are ‘hell-bent’ on destroying Nigeria

The National Economic Council (NEC) has agreed to make fertiliser available to farmers and establish agro-rangers to fight insecurity in farms, as part of measures to address Nigeria’s current economic challenges, particularly food shortage, and hunger.

Stanley Nkwocha, the senior special assistant to President Bola Tinubu on media and communications, Office of The Vice President, said this in a statement after the 139th meeting of the council held virtually and chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

At the meeting, Shettima noted that with collective efforts in developing a clear and actionable roadmap through short-term, medium, and long-term strategies, Nigeria would overcome its economic challenges.

Abubakar Kyari, minister of agriculture and food security, speaking at the meeting on food security, said the government would meet with major fertiliser producers in the country, including Indorama, Dangote and Notore.

The meeting agreed that since fertiliser was a major ingredient of agricultural productivity, state governors should help in training farmers to embrace modern agricultural practices to increase productivity.

The council also considered the establishment of agro-rangers in the short term, while plans were ongoing to create state police in the long-term to address security threats to farmers

The government is also planning to release 42,000 metric tonnes of food commodities from the national strategic reserve to address rising prices.

The minister called for action against the dollarisation of locally produced commodities like urea, which is impacting negatively fertiliser prices and agricultural productivity.

Meanwhile, Vice President Shettima has called for sound economic decisions that will reverberate with the expectations of Nigerians.

He expressed hope that with collective efforts in developing a clear and actionable roadmap through short-term, medium, and long-term strategies, Nigeria was certain to overcome its current economic challenges.

The vice president also regretted that Nigeria had been a victim of strong averseness to evolving and keeping up with the changing global economic order, leading to a situation where making difficult decisions to maximise its potential has become inevitable.

“We must either redirect the economy towards a place of boom and competitiveness or brace for an impact we are unlikely to survive. So, beyond the heritage of our financial and monetary fiascos, we must compare notes to understand the interconnectedness of the dysfunctions in each sector of the economy,” he stated.

Shettima in his speech titled, “It’s time to speed up our prosperity quest,” told council members that it was President Tinubu’s desire that Nigerians stand together to collectively proffer solutions to safeguard the nation’s economy from imminent implosion.

He observed that while the wealth of every nation was in the belly of its citizens, the government has a long distance to cover in its interventions to enhance “food availability and affordability.

“The call to secure and liberate areas under threat from violence, most of which are arable lands owned by our farming communities, is not just a matter of security but a strategic move to revive the economic lifeblood of our nation,” he added.