The federal government convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday in response to the demonstrations that have arisen in certain regions of the country due to the exorbitant prices of food.
The meeting, which was conducted in the office of the Presidential Villa in Abuja under the leadership of the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, follows the demonstrations initiated by irate youths in Minna, Niger State, and Kano in response to the escalating cost of living in the nation.
Members of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention were in attendance, and the event’s objective was to halt the escalating crisis caused by the exorbitant cost of food and the resulting hardships for the public.
Approximately three hours after the meeting, while briefing State House correspondents, Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, expressed President Bola Tinubu’s concern over the development.
He stated that the President has instructed the Presidential Committee to intervene in the situation so as to alleviate the suffering of the general public.
The Minister, who stated that there is sufficient food in the country, added that certain factions are attempting to cause chaos by capitalizing on the depreciation of the naira and the high cost of food.
He declared, "We have just concluded a consultation. "It is a presidential special committee tasked with addressing the food shortage or insufficiency that plagues the majority of Nigerians."This merely marks the inception of that gathering. It is anticipated to persist both tomorrow and the following day. The government is extremely concerned about the plight of Nigerians, particularly in light of yesterday’s events in Minna; as a result, steps are being taken to ensure that Nigerians have food on the table as a form of relief. “Of course, this meeting is not exhaustive in and of itself.” It is, as previously stated, the initial stage. The ongoing operation is expected to continue through tomorrow and the following day. ▏ ⁏ “At this time, a portion of these tasks will entail gaining access to the foods stored in the majority of the nation’s National Food Reserve facilities.” It is not a secret that the Federal Minister of Agriculture maintains a grain reserve. “That information will be provided to the Nigerian people.”
The Minister stated that discussions have begun between the government and major commodity traders and millers regarding the possibility of opening their stores to provide food.
As per his statement, “The government is also in discussion with prominent commodity traders and millers to determine what products are available in their warehouses.” In order to facilitate government intervention, it is imperative to engage in dialogue with stakeholders and implement measures to ensure that this food remains accessible to the Nigerian people. The government has observed that food does indeed remain within the borders of the nation. Certain individuals are capitalizing on the situation, particularly due to the exorbitant expenses and the depreciation of our currency, which has resulted in a rise in the price of these food items as well. “Therefore, these are all the concerns that were deliberated upon.” In attendance was the governor of the central bank. In attendance at this meeting are the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Undoubtedly, the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Staff, given that his role also carries significant implications for national security. Thus, each of these has been addressed. I would like to reiterate that this conversation or discourse will persist. “I can assure Nigerian citizens that the President has issued a directive for the government to intervene in order to reverse this trend.” The government will not tolerate the plight of Nigerians regarding the scarcity of these food items; therefore, I implore you to have compassion with the government. With the conclusion of these meetings in sight, we will have the capacity to officially declare the stance of the government on this matter. Nevertheless, I can assure you that deliberations are continuous and an imminent resolution is imminent for the Nigerian people.
When queried about any imminent actions that have transpired since the meeting, he responded, "A number of them are reliant on the subsequent meeting in light of the entire ordeal. The Nigerian government is taking significant measures to guarantee the future well-being of the populace.
It is worth noting that on Monday, young individuals from Minna, Niger State, obstructed the heavily traveled Minna-Bida Road at the prominent Kpakungu Roundabout. Their demand was for the administration led by President Bola Tinubu to confront the issue of “food insecurity in the nation.”
The crowd resisted defenseless efforts by security personnel to suppress the demonstration, including the use of tear gas canisters and arrests.
Kano’s youths also voiced their discontent regarding the plight of the nation, and Abba Yusuf, the state governor, assured them that he would relay their grievances to the President.
National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso; Minister of Education, Dr. Tahir Mamman; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu; and State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sabi Abdullahi were in attendance at the meeting, which was conducted behind closed doors.