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Food Scarcity: Nigerian Senate Urges FG To Act, Says ‘Patience Is Not Eternal’  

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The Nigerian Senate has urgently called upon the federal government to address the worsening food crisis gripping the nation.

The Senate’s resolution, on Tuesday, came in response to a motion titled “Urgent Need to Address Food Insecurity and Market Exploitation of Consumables in Nigeria”. The said motion was sponsored by Senator Sunday Karimi of Kogi West and co-sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume of Borno South, who serves as the Senate Chief Whip.

The lawmakers discussed the alarming rise in prices of essential goods and household consumables in recent months. They cited data from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, which revealed a sharp increase in food inflation to 40.66% year-on-year, up from 24.82% in May 2023.

The Senate expressed concerns over the soaring prices of staple foods such as beans, maize, rice paddy, yam, tomatoes, and onions, which have escalated by over 100% to 300% since the removal of petroleum subsidies. There has been no clear justification for these hikes.

“Mr. President, patience and tolerance are elastic but not eternal. Our people are facing real hunger. In my senatorial district, I have seen ordinary people suffering, struggling to find food, and now eating only once a day. Today’s media reports indicate the government is considering removing taxes on food items”, Senator Lawan of Yobe North stated.

Senator Ahmed Wadada of Nasarawa West echoed similar sentiments. He called for comprehensive actions to address food insecurity and mitigate factors contributing to the crisis, including farmer-herder conflicts and economic challenges.

“The issue at hand is very serious. Nigerians are very patient, but no people can endure hunger for so long. While we understand the causes, we must also recommend solutions to the government of the day. As representatives of the people, we are responsible and must respond appropriately. We are all leaders and critical stakeholders in this country. Whatever we need to do, we must always contribute to efforts to reduce factors affecting food production in the country”, Wadada stated.

The Senate further claimed that the Ministry of Agriculture has allocated 60 trucks of fertilisers for distribution across Nigeria’s 36 states, aimed at boosting agricultural productivity and stabilising food supply. The high inflation rates, weakened purchasing power, and the challenges noted by the Senate have become mainstays in the Nigerian economy.

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