The presidency has raised alarm that Nigeria may go into famine early next year with the current spate of exportation of food items.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu revealed this on a radio programme yesterday. He disclosed that there is a a huge demand for Nigeria’s grain and cereals in the global market. According to him, the exportation of the nation’s surplus production may lead to shortage of the food items in the coming year.
“Huge demand for our grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian food across our borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of grains by January next year.”
“Over the past year, providence has blessed Nigeria with a bountiful harvest of grains, more than enough to feed the country and to export to other countries.”
“At present, there is a high demand for grains from Nigeria, from African countries as distant as Libya and Algeria, and from places as far away as Brazil. However, the ministry of agriculture has raised concerns about a massive rate of exportation, which could lead to a shortage of grains in Nigeria by January.”
Nigeria, World’s Highest Producer of Grains
According to Shehu, the ministry of agriculture estimated that no fewer than 500 trucks loaded with grain leave Nigerian markets every week.
He further explained that President Buhari had on various occasions reiterated his plan for Nigeria to become a food-producing giant, self-sufficient to the point of depending very little on imported food.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is not in any way opposed to or intent on tampering with that. On the other hand, exporters also have a moral obligation to make their produce available to Nigerians who live within our country’s borders, to ensure that our citizens have access to food.”
“This noble plan could easily be defeated by the pull of the foreign market if food continues to leave our shores to feed people elsewhere. If care is not taken, Nigeria could face a famine by January.
“Building our country into the edifice we envision it to be will require sacrifice and strategy from every single Nigerian. Let us remember that charity begins at home.
The major markets involved in this exportation are the Dawanau market in Kano, Naigatari in Jigawa, Bama in Borno, and Ilela in Sokoto, as well as three other main markets in Kebbi State.