Well maybe its time fSenior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Shehu Garba yesterday warned that Nigeria could face famine in January if drastic steps are not taken now. Garba who gave the warning when he spoke at a radio station in kano yesterday, said Nigerian farmers are exporting most of their food products instead of making it readily available for consumption in Nigeria.
“Huge demand for our grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian grains across our borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of food by January next year. Over the past year, Providence has blessed Nigeria with a bountiful harvest of grains, more than enough to feed the country and to export to other countries. At present, there is a high demand for grains from Nigeria, from African countries as distant as Libya and Algeria, and from places as far away as Brazil. However, the ministry of agriculture has raised concerns about a massive rate of exportation, which could lead to a shortage of grains in Nigeria by January. President Muhammadu Buhari is not in any way opposed to or intent on tampering with that. On the other hand, exporters also have a moral obligation to make their produce available to Nigerians who live within our country’s borders, to ensure that our citizens have access to food” he said. Garba said that the ministry of agriculture estimated that no fewer than 500 trucks laden with grain leave Nigerian markets every week, headed for countries outside Nigerian borders. “The major markets involved in this exportation are: the Dawanau market in Kano, Naigatari in Jigawa, Bama in Borno, and Ilela in Sokoto, as well as three other main markets in Kebbi State,” he said.
Well, maybe its time the Feds scrap those import duties on food items and allow poor people to get some relief. After all, no one voted for N28,000 bag of rice.
And while they are at it, PMB can also instruct the customs to open up the borders in the North, God knows those 85% deserve to be able to import food items without having to go begging those who control the sea landings.