• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

We are moving to end food crisis, hardship in Nigeria — Governors

Nigerians pay most for food since 1999

Governors from each of the 36 states in Nigeria said they are implementing different strategies to confront the ongoing economic hardships and food inflation that have affected their respective states.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said this in a report released by its Halimah Salihu Ahmed, acting head of media, on Sunday, reflecting the governors’ dedication to alleviating the struggles faced by citizens in light of discussions with President Bola Tinubu on mitigating the effects of economic challenges.

Among the governors leading initiatives, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the governor of Kwara State and chairman of the NGF, has joined forces with Governors Agbu Kefas (Taraba), Lucky Aiyedatiwa (Ondo), and Ahmed Ododo (Kogi) to champion enhanced crop production. Their collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture aims to address food shortages and bolster agricultural activities.

In Akwa Ibom, plans are underway to establish a state agency that will procure and sell food items at reduced prices, according to the NGF.

Also, Kano and Yobe have implemented measures to counteract food hoarding, with authorities cracking down on bulk purchases and exports.

“In the same vein, in Kano State, authorities raided warehouses where traders are suspected of hoarding food supplies.

“In Yobe State government banned bulk purchases of grain from local markets to stop hoarding and exports across Nigeria’s borders saying it was to “stem the tide of food scarcity and high cost of grains,” the report stated.

According to the Forum, Governor Mohammed Umar Bago of Niger State took decisive action by banning mass purchases of foodstuffs from local markets. He directed security forces to seize trucks carrying products in bulk and distribute the food to the people. In Enugu State, Governor Peter Mbah is resolute in his commitment to eradicating hunger and poverty by focusing on agriculture and agro-industrialisation.

Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State engaged in discussions with Sweden Ambassador Annika Hahn-Englund, exploring avenues for economic growth and strategies to address the prevailing hardships in the state.

Abdulrazaq acknowledged the challenges faced during the previous Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers Programme, emphasising a renewed focus on improving yield and contributing to national food security through programmes centred on cassava, rice, and maize.

The governors aspire to enhance productivity, eventually turning Nigeria into a surplus food exporter and capitalising on the nation’s position as the regional leader, particularly given the devaluation of the naira.

“The minister has come up with a program on cassava, rice, and maize and we want to engage in that program and urgently make sure we improve on our yield and deliver to the Nigerian population.

“We want to get to a stage where we export our food. What we have now is that, because of the devaluation of our naira, Nigeria’s food is being exported to West Africa and is the cheapest in the region today,” the report stated.