NIGERIA – Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has ordered immediate action to curb rising food prices and ensure sustainable food security, a measure he described as a ‘food emergency.’

Concerns about food insecurity have been longstanding in Nigeria – Africa’s most-populous country, which has also been battling widespread insecurity for several years.

According to BBC News, the president has developed raft initiatives including using money saved by the recent removal of a fuel subsidy to provide fertilizer and grain to farmers in a bid to tackle rising food prices and shortages.

The new monthly stipend is going to 12 million households via a scheme known as the National Safety Net Programme – separate from another initiative launched by the previous government through which they receive about $6 a month.

I assure all Nigerians that no one will be left behind in these strategic interventions,” said Mr Tinubu.

Additionally, protection is also to be increased for farmers, many of whom have abandoned their land after becoming the target of gangs that kidnap for ransom.

A UN report in January projected that 25 million Nigerians were at high risk of food insecurity this year.

Further, more than 350 farmers were kidnapped or killed in the 12 months up to June 2022 alone, many of which have taken place in the north of the country according to a Nigerian security tracking website.

Expounding on the initiatives, government adviser Dele Alake said that new security measures would mean farmers could return to the farmlands “without fear of attacks”.

According to the president, all matters relating to essential food and water will now be the responsibility of the National Security Council, which is made up of the country’s security chiefs and headed by the president.

“As with most emergencies, there are immediate, medium, and long-term interventions and solutions.

President Tinubu


The call comes after President Tinubu’s move to remove the fuel subsidy, which had been in place for decades, and kept the price of petroleum products low after resuming office in May.

Its removal has led to increases of up to 200% in some parts of the country, but the new president has defended the move, saying it is essential to use that money more effectively.

Recently, the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria warned that bread prices would be increased by 15 percent nationwide effective July 24 as bakers grapple with the cost of production.

However, the President said further initiatives would be taken in the coming weeks to reverse the inflationary trend and ensure an uninterrupted supply of affordable food to ordinary Nigerians in the future.

As with most emergencies, there are immediate, medium, and long-term interventions and solutions.

Government to mitigate spikes and dips in food prices

Tinubu revealed that a Memorandum of Partnership between the government and agricultural stakeholders had been drafted, outlining decisions taken and proposed actions.

According to him, there is an urgent need for synergy between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources to ensure adequate irrigation of farmlands and ensure that food is produced all year round.

In addition, the president pointed out that his administration will establish and support a National Commodity Board that will review and continuously assess food prices and maintain a strategic food reserve that will be used as a price stabilization mechanism for critical grains and other food items.

Through this board, the government will mitigate spikes and dips in food prices, he noted.”

President Tinubu is confident that the program will stimulate economic activities in the informal sector and improve the nutrition, health, education, and human capital development of beneficiaries’ households.

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