President Bola Tinubu has declared a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria.
Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Thursday, after consultations with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector value chain at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Tinubu also approved that all matters pertaining to food and water availability as well as affordability, as essential livelihood items, be included within the purview of the National Security Council.
This is to be followed by an immediate release of fertilisers and grains to farmers and households to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal.
The directive was said to be in line with the Tinubu administration’s position on ensuring that the most vulnerable are supported.
Explaining the development, the Presidential aide said, “ President is not unmindful of the rising cost of food and how it affects the citizens. While availability is not a problem, affordability has been a major issue for many Nigerians in all parts of the country.
The President also directed the immediate release fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal.
“There must be an urgent synergy between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources to ensure adequate irrigation of farmlands and to guarantee that food is produced all-year round.” the President was quoted as saying.
“We shall create and support a National Commodity Board that will review and continuously assess food prices as well as maintain a strategic food reserve that will be used as a price stabilisation mechanism for critical grains and other food items. Through this board, government will moderate spikes and dips in food prices.
“We will engage our security architecture to protect the farms and the farmers so that farmers can return to the farmlands without fear of attacks.”
The President said the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to play a role of funding the agricultural value chain.
He said 500,000 hectares of land have already been mapped to increase availability of arable land for farming.
Tinubu said revenue from food and agricultural exports would be increased.