Economic Hardship: FG to Begin Distribution of Grains  Next Week

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The federal government on Thursday promised that the distribution of the 42,000 metric tons of grains the President recently ordered to be released from the strategic food reserve to ameliorate the suffering of vulnerable Nigerians would finally begin next week, no specific date was given.

The president ordered the release of the grains to cushion the  current economic hardship Nigerians are going through.

The Governor of Niger State, Umar Bago, disclosed this after a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Abubakar Kyari, ahead of the inauguration of the state’s mechanisation programme by President Bola Tinubu.

Answering questions from journalists, the governor said the distribution of the grains will be flagged off in the state which will be used as pilot in the North-Central.

In addition, Bago said apart from the grain promised by the federal government, the state government had further acquired 120,000 trucks of grains including rice, beans, millet, sorghum, soybeans among others to be distributed freely to its citizens as part of efforts to support the people in these trying times.

According to him, “We have vowed to match them naira to  naira, if the federal government is giving us N100 million, we will also give N100 million. We will continue to farm and we are doing lots of sensitisation for our farmers to go back to agriculture including aquaculture, livestock among others.”

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security,  Kyari explained that the 42,000mt including Sorghum, millet, maize, and gari will be distributed across the country.

He stressed that the second phase of the dry season farming would also be flagged off next week in Niger state, before extending the commencement to other states.

On the number of people to benefit from the distribution of the free grains, the minister said the template for the distribution remained with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as they intend to start distribution from the local government areas.

Kyari said the ONSA would be heavily involved in the distribution including security agencies, the police, civil defense, and armed forces among others to mitigate potential grain hijacks.

He also assured that the operation will be robust as the media, CSOs, religious groups, and workers unions will witness the distribution.

The minister said, “I can assure you that it is going to be very transparent. When the template is concluded, we are going to declare to everybody where, what, and how the distribution will go.

 

“Those issues will be addressed. I know a lot of people are worried about what has happened in the past. But we will set up a template for everyone to see.”

 

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