President Bola Tinubu has directed the immediate release of 42,000 metric tons of assorted food items from both the strategic reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria as a short-term response to the rising food shortage in the country.
Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, announced the directive after a meeting of the special presidential committee on emergency food intervention on Thursday.
The minister said the government has proposed to embark on importation of whatever shortfalls that may be experienced after the release of the food commodities.
He added that the government will sanction food hoarders noting that emergency situations require emergency measures to ensure food is available to Nigerians.
On February 6, the presidential committee on emergency food intervention met at the presidential villa, Abuja over the rising cost of living in the country.
The committee was convened by Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff (CoS) to the president.
The meeting was attended by Nuhu Ribadu, the national security adviser (NSA); Yemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Tahir Mamman, minister of education; Wale Edun; minister of finance and Abubakar Kyari, minister of agriculture, as well as Mustapha Shehuri, minister of state for agriculture.
On Monday, Some residents of Minna, the capital city of Niger state, blocked major roads in the metropolis to protest the rising cost of living in the country.
Their demonstration compounded rush hour traffic in the city.
The protesters were chanting Hausa slogans while lamenting the economic hardship and inflationary pressure they are grappling with daily.
Since the removal of the subsidy on petrol by Tinubu on May 29, 2023, there has been a steady increase in the prices of basic items and staples.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 28.9 percent in December 2023 — up from 28.20 percent in the previous month.