In a bid to address rising food insecurity in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu has authorized the immediate release of over 100 metric tons of assorted food items from the nation’s strategic reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria. This announcement follows a meeting of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention held on Thursday.
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, confirmed the president’s directive to journalists at the State House. This medida represents a short-term response to the growing concern over food shortages and rising prices across the country.
Idris said, “The first one is that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been directed to release about 42,000 metric tons of maize, millet, garri, and other commodities in their strategic reserve so that these items will be made available to Nigerians; 42,000 metric tons immediately.
“The second one is that we have held meetings with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria. Those who are responsible for producing this rice and we have asked them to open up their stores.
“They’ve told us that they can guarantee about 60,000 metric tons of rice. This will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigerians the next one month to six weeks, perhaps up to two months.”
Rising Food Prices and Public Anxiety:
Food prices in Nigeria have been steadily increasing in recent months, attributed to various factors including global supply chain disruptions, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and local weather conditions impacting agricultural production. This surge in prices has placed a significant strain on households, particularly those in vulnerable communities.
Public anxiety surrounding food availability has been high, with some Nigerians resorting to panic buying and stockpiling essential items. The government’s intervention aims to alleviate these concerns and ensure access to basic foodstuffs in the immediate term.