The long-awaited distribution of the 42,000 metric tonnes of grains promised by the Federal Government to ease the pains of economic reforms has started, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Abubakar Kyari, said yesterday.

Kyari spoke during an interactive session with the National Assembly Joint Committee on Agriculture Production Services and Rural Development.

The minister was invited by the lawmakers, led by Senator Saliu Mustapha (APC – Kwara Central), to shed light on Federal Government’s plan to curb rising food costs and making it available to the poor and vulnerable in the country.

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The minister told the lawmakers that the Federal Government had kicked-off the distribution of 42,000 metric tonnes of grains to some focal points in state capitals across the country.

He said: “We have received directive and approval from Mr. President to distribute for immediate impact 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains free of charge to the Nigerian population.

“This was received in mid-February, as we are speaking we have a record of the distribution being carried out, but I will want to plead with the Honorable House members and Distinguished senators that some of the movements can’t be made public but a lot of states have started receiving their grains.


“We are distributing to state capitals in the first instance as you all are aware the risk involved in the vandalism of foodstuff; so, we are working with the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other national security agencies.

“Furthermore, 58,500 metric tons of milled rice from mega rice millers will also be released into the market for stabilization,” he said.

The minister said that the action of the government became imperative in order to cushion the impacts of hardship on Nigerians which he said, will soon become a thing of the past.

He told the committee that his ministry was working with the ONSA and other national security outfits to address issues on vandalism of food warehouses.

Senator Mustapha told reporters after the session that he was satisfied with the steps being taken by the Federal Government to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

He said: “From our interactive session, we are fully in the picture of what is happening. We are convinced that the steps being taken by the Federal Government is in the right direction.

“All we did again is to further emphasize the need for certain things to be done on time. I think from this collaborative approach by the grace of God, Nigerians will have a better feel of the government policy on food security.”



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