In an effort to mitigate the spiralling prices of food in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain including maize, millet and garri.
Similarly, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has also committed to immediately release over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that these were immediate measures taken by the Federal Government to reduce the hardships faced by Nigerians who are made to bear the brunt of high prices of food in the market.
“These will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigeria in the next couple of weeks. One month, six weeks, perhaps up to two months.
“Now the whole idea of this is to crush the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.
“Now, the third item is that government is also looking at the possibility of, if it becomes absolutely necessary and as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians,” he said.
Idris also said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would further invest massively in the farming process to boost production and ensure the country’s food potential are fully exploited.
He said that government would appeal to persons or groups to stop hoarding these products in order to maximise profit at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.
“Government of course is also looking at all those who are hoarding these commodities, because actually, these commodities are available in the stores of many traders.
“Government is appealing to them that they should open up these doors and make these commodities available in the interest of our nation.
“There is no point when the whole country is looking for this food you are locking up these products where you make more money and then Nigerians suffer. Of course, government will not fold its arms.
“If they don’t respond by bringing these commodities to the market, government will take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are made available to Nigerians.”
The Minister said that government would also take measures to ensure that food continue to be accessible and affordable to Nigerians.
“We ask that Nigerians need to be more patriotic; be our brother’s keepers. Sell this thing, of course at a margin but at a margin that is not also killing to Nigerians.
“This is an emergency situation. Every nation faces emergency situations. This is our own time to face this challenges.
“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable,” he said.