Recent spike in food prices is declining due to the harvest of new crops, Chief of Staff to the President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has said.
At an emergency meeting between President Buhari and members of the National Food Security Council on the hike in prices of foodstuffs, in Abuja on Thursday, Professor Gambari told the gathering that the All Agricultural Commodity Association, provided the indices.
He said he’d met with the Association to ascertain the root causes of the hike and to provide immediate solution.
They advised better coordination, synergy, and co-operation across the agriculture sector to break the excesses of ‘price-hikers’, he said.
President Buhari, at the event, had said there was need for more effort to increase food production and self-sufficiency, assuring that the Federal Government would continue to promote policies that favour investments in the agricultural sector.
COVID-19 pandemic exposed the level of preparedness of nations to stocks of food, the president said.
He pointed out that In the last five years, the country had recorded notable achievements despite the decline in GDP by 6.1 per cent in Q2 of 2020 as a direct result of Coronavirus.
The agricultural sector continued to grow because of government targeted policies, President Buhari said.
No money for export
He directed the Central Bank of Nigeria not to issue any money from the country’s reserves for the importation of food items and fertilizer.
This directive coincides with the Federal Government’s rolling out the Economic Sustainability Plan and sets goal for National Food Security.
Emphasizing the need to boost local agriculture, the President said the country now had 33 functional fertilizer blending plants.
He however advised private businesses to source their foreign exchange independently, urging them to use their to resources to compete with local farmers.
Maintaining food security is one of the 9 priority areas adopted at the recent ministerial performance review retreat hosted by the Presidency.
Abdullah Bello, additional report by Bello Wakili