Governor Mohammed Umar Bago has implemented a temporary ban on the sale and distribution of food items and agricultural produce from Niger to other states in Nigeria.
The governor’s decision, announced on Thursday, comes in response to the increasing hunger experienced both in Niger and across the country due to factors such as rising inflation, the removal of petrol subsidies, the floating of the naira, and insecurity during President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Bago stated, “Trucks that come to purchase foodstuffs from our local markets in bulk will be stopped for the time being. Mass purchases from our local markets in all our local governments are suspended until further notice.”
He added, “Anyone found violating this directive will have their trucks confiscated by security agencies, and the food will be distributed to the people.”
The aim of the governor’s action is to ensure that there is enough food and agricultural produce available for the residents of Niger state to address the widespread hunger and poverty in the region.
Meanwhile, President Tinubu has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release approximately 42,000 metric tonnes of grains, including maize, millet, and garri.
Additionally, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has committed to releasing over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public without delay.
Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, revealed these measures after a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention in Abuja.
He emphasized that these actions are aimed at reducing the hardship faced by Nigerians due to high food prices in the market.
The government is also considering importing some of these commodities as an interim measure to ensure their availability to Nigerians.
Idris stressed that the government will invest significantly in farming to boost production and fully utilize the country’s agricultural potential.
He urged traders to refrain from hoarding food products to maximize profits, as this would worsen the plight of ordinary Nigerians.
The government’s priority is to make food accessible and affordable to all Nigerians, especially during this emergency situation.