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Senate Urges Urgent Action on Impending Food Crisis

Written by Yusuf Zubairu

The Senate has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently address the impending food crisis and appropriately inform Nigerians of the steps being taken to ameliorate the situation.

This is the single prayer suggested by Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume, the co-sponsor of a motion on the urgent need to address food insecurity and market exploitation of consumables in Nigeria.

The motion is sponsored by Senator Karimi Sunday Steve, representing Kogi West.

Presenting the motion before the Senate plenary this Tuesday, Senator Karimi explained that in the last few months, the price of goods and household consumables has been on the high rise in the country, leading to a high rate of inflation, weakened buying power, and general worsening of living conditions for the vast majority of Nigerians.

He further said that the latest data by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics shows that food inflation in the country skyrocketed to 40.66 percent on a year-on-year basis, a significant increase from the 24.82 percent recorded in May 2023:

Senator Karimi explained that the current market price of food items such as beans, maize, rice paddy, yam, tomatoes, and onions which initially rose by about 40% after the removal of petroleum Subsidy has now increased to over 100% to 300% without any attributable reason for the increase in prices

The lawmaker said that although insecurity in food-producing regions, bad roads, increased transportation costs due to the removal of fuel subsidies, and the depreciation of the Naira are possible factors, the percentage increase in transportation costs and some other factors listed above is significantly less than the percentage increase in the current prices of goods across the country.

Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume, who is the co sponsor of the motion, said a credible agency listed Nigeria is among the four countries that are in critical situation. Therefore, something done urgently

Also, in his contribution, the former senate president Ahmad Lawan advised the present administration to allow importation of food items because, according to him, our silos are empty

He reiterated that the National Assembly must joint hand and take right measures to ensure the right food items are available in our country so that people will have a relief from the high increase of price food items in the country.

Shedding more light on the government’s proactive measures to ensure farming activities, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Salihu Mustapha, echoed by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said the state governments have been allocated about sixty trucks of fertilizers expected to be delivered this week for distribution.

Meanwhile, senators are allocated two trucks each, while House of Representatives members receive one truck of fertilizer each to improve agricultural activities this season.

Senator Mustapha further assured that hopefully, these consignments would be released to States and individual members within the week for onward distribution immediately to Farmers.

Finally, Senator Godswill Akpabio thanked all those who contributed to the motion and expressed hope that the measures taken by the federal government would cushion the effects of the food crisis in Nigeria and ensure the availability of food at affordable prices.

Bashir M