The country anticipate surplus food as President Bola Tinubu takes a bold and decisive move that could have a significant impact on food security in the country. In response to the observed food inflation across Nigeria, Tinubu declared a state of emergency on food security, highlighting the importance of addressing the rising cost of food and its impact on citizens. This move comes hot on the heels of the Senate’s approval of the president’s request to amend the 2022 Supplementary Act, totaling a whopping N819 billion. The president has been granted permission to use N500 billion from this fund to establish a social safety net, particularly in light of the recent removal of petrol subsidies.
The House of Representatives also backed this request, signaling a broad consensus on the need to prioritize food security.
The president’s declaration of a state of emergency on food security was announced by Mr. Dele Alake, the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication, and Strategy, following a meeting of stakeholders on agriculture and food production value-chain at the State House, Abuja.
So, what does this state of emergency mean for food security? Well, the action plan includes immediate measures to mitigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal. This involves releasing fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to support food production. Furthermore, the president has approved the inclusion of food and water availability and affordability within the purview of the National Security Council, emphasizing the crucial role these elements play in people’s livelihoods.
In the short, medium, and long terms, various initiatives will be deployed to achieve the goals set by the president’s order. These include promoting all-year-round farming, establishing special-purpose vehicles like commodity boards to liberalize the food production value chain, activating land banks across the country, and replacing problematic nomadic animal husbandry with government-managed ranching.
The government is taking a multi-faceted approach to address the challenges facing the agricultural sector. The release of fertilizers and grains will provide immediate relief, while the establishment of a National Commodity Board will help maintain stable food prices. Efforts will also be made to protect farmers and their farmlands from attacks, ensuring their safety and enabling them to focus on their work.
Furthermore, the Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to play a crucial role in funding the agricultural value chain. Additional measures include the activation of land banks, collaboration with mechanization companies to clear more forests for farming, and the utilization of river basins for irrigation schemes, ensuring continuous farming production throughout the year.
Transportation and storage of agricultural products will also be addressed to reduce costs and subsequently impact food prices. The government aims to modernize livestock business practices by establishing ranches in collaboration with state governments and financing the acquisition of land.
The targeted gains of the president’s emergency declaration on food production and distribution extend beyond food security. The government aims to create between five and ten million jobs within the value chain, doubling the current employment rate in the agriculture sector. This aligns with President Tinubu’s mandate to create more job opportunities for Nigerian youths and boost the country’s human capital index.
In closing, President Tinubu urges all Nigerians to support this strategic intervention in ensuring food security. The administration is committed to meeting essential needs and ensuring that no household is left behind. By deploying effective and efficient interventions, the government aims to positively impact the lives of its citizens.
In other news, the Senate has approved President Tinubu’s request to amend the 2022 Supplementary Act and allocate N819 billion. From this fund, N500 billion will be used to provide palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians affected by the removal of fuel subsidies. Additionally, the president has sought approval for a borrowing request of $800 million to fund the 2023 Supplementary Budget, with a focus on scaling up the National Social Safety Net Programmed.
These recent developments indicate President Tinubu’s strong commitment to addressing critical issues such as food security, job creation, and social welfare. With the support of stakeholders and the concerted efforts of the government, Nigeria is poised to make significant strides in these areas and build a more resilient and prosperous nation.
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