Nigerian Govt flags off distribution of 42,000 metric tonnes of grains

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris has stated that the distribution of grains is part of a comprehensive intervention programme the Federal Government is implementing to cushion hardship in the land and revamp the Nigerian economy for sustainable development and prosperity for all citizens.

He spoke during the flag-off of the release of 42,000 metric tonnes (MT) of Assorted Food Commodities from the National Strategic Food Reserve (NSFR) across the country to Vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effect of the rising cost of food commodities.

The event was held on Sunday, 6th April 2024, at the Government House, Sokoto, Sokoto state.

The Minister said President Bola Tinubu is concerned about rising food prices and is determined to make essential food available and affordable for Nigerians, which is why he approved the distribution of 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains, including sorghum, millet, and maize, and 60,000 metric tonnes of rice through millers.

The Federal Government, he said, is under no illusion that Mr. President’s policy reform will be without some transitional pains. Still, there is sustained confidence that, in the long run, the end will justify the means.

“The government calls for continued patience and understanding from Nigerians as we push through these difficult times into a season of abundant benefits and truly renewed Hope. As the President never fails to emphasize, these headwinds we face are only temporary, and we will surely overcome them.” He said.

He listed the marked reduction of petrol importation to 50 percent monthly, “the stabilized foreign exchange with our Naira waxing stronger daily, and the recent launch of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF), which aims to raise about N20 trillion for investment in critical sectors of the economy as early wins.

“A few days ago, the Federal Government unveiled a progressive policy in the power sector, aiming to boost electricity supply sufficiency for all Nigerians.

“The most important aspect of the policy is that the Tinubu administration is sustaining electricity subsidies for 85% of Nigerian consumers, which justifies its credential as a pro-people democratic government while increasing electricity tariffs for only 15% of the electricity consumer population.

“I urge you to continue supporting the Tinubu Administration as it implements policies to overhaul the nation’s economy.”

Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari said the President is desirous of cushioning the effect of the rising cost of food commodities by ensuring a sustained buffer stock, as provided by the Nigeria

Food Storage Policy.

He explained that the National Strategic Food Reserve is expected to keep only 5 per cent of total annual food production, while 10 per cent is expected to be kept by State Governments as a buffer stock to complement the National Reserve.

However, he noted that the buffer stock program has remained non-existent in most states of the Federation and had continued to exert avoidable pressure on the Federal Government National Strategic Food Reserve stock, especially at times like this.

“Therefore, I want to encourage all the state governments to begin activating the buffer stock in their various states so that in cases of emergency and future food interventions like this, they will have stocks that complement the federal government’s efforts,” He said.

The 42,000MT of assorted food commodities, comprised of maize (23,600MT), sorghum (12,860 M), millet (3,700MT), and Garri (1,840MT), are to be distributed to vulnerable Nigerians.

The allocation for Sokoto State comprises Maize 506.00MT, Sorghum (589.00MT), and Millet (216.20MT) (44.01 trucks or 26,406 50kg bags). It has since been delivered to the state.

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