President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that he will crash rising food prices in the country, as he directed key government and security agencies to find lasting solutions to the disruptive and unpatriotic activities of middlemen and hoarders of food items.
The President disclosed this in his 61st Independent live broadcast on Friday in Abuja.
The directive, according to the President, was aimed at crashing the prices of food items and subsequently reducing the hardships being faced by citizens.
Buhari said, “The agricultural sector remains key to our economic diversification efforts as the sector has been a consistent driver of the non-oil sector, contributing 22.35 per cent and 23.78 per cent to overall GDP in the first and second quarters of 2021.”
The president’s broadcast also touched on the efforts of his administration’s resolve to ensure peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic groups, security, transportation, agriculture as well as ongoing transformation programmes of the Federal Government, among others.
“We have seen significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the agricultural value-chain and these have continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, as our food production capacity has increased, food prices have been going up, due to artificial shortages created by middlemen who have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering.
“To address this, I am hereby directing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities,’’ he added.
The President also directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with the Nigerian Commodity Exchange and the National Assembly to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency to boost food production and address artificial food shortages created by the middlemen.
Buhari expressed regrets that despite significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the agricultural value, food prices were still high.