President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the increase in the prices of food on flooding, middlemen, and insecurity, pledging to tackle the ravaging hardship in the country.
The President stated this on Monday while felicitating with Muslims on the occasion of the Eid El-Adha, calling for more patience among Nigerians.
Buhari in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, noted that these, as well as the COVID-19, have ballooned the prices of food items in Nigeria.
“Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices,” the President was quoted as saying.
“COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.
“No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”
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The Nigerian leader assured that as an elected President who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people, he would continue “to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to our farmers.”
While lamenting the deteriorating insecurity in the country, Buhari lamented that it “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.
“Let me also use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we are taking measures to address our security challenges. We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry.”