Expedite action in fertilizer distribution, senators tell FG

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BY KHADIJAH MUSTAPHA, JULY 10, 2024 | 12:21 PM


Nigerian senators have urged the federal government to expedite action on fertilizer distribution to farmers across the country.

The FG is urged to send 60 trucks of fertilizer to each state of the federation as part of efforts to address the rapid growth of food crisis in the country.

The call was articulated in a motion moved by Senator Sunday Karimi, representing Kogi West and also co-sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume of Borno South during Tuesday plenary.

According to the motion, each of the 109 senators is supposed to receive two trucks of fertiliser for distribution to farmers in their constituents, while the 360 members of the House of Representatives to receive one truck each to distribute in their constituencies.

The motion titled: Urgent Need to Address Food Insecurity and Market Exploitation of Consumables In Nigeria, explained that in the last few months, the price of goods and household consumables had been on an abysmal rise in the country, leading to a high rate of inflation, weakened buying power, and general worsening of living conditions of the vast majority of Nigerians.

Karimi further noted that the latest data released by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that 'food inflation in the country skyrocketed to 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, a significant increase from the 24.82 per cent recorded in May 2023.

'The current market price of food items such as beans, maize, rice paddy, yam, tomatoes, and onions, which initially rose by about 40 per cent after the removal of petroleum subsidy, has now increased to over 100 – 300 per cent without any attributable reason for the increase in prices.'

According to him, 'although insecurity in food-producing regions, bad roads, increase in the cost of transportation attributable to the removal of fuel subsidy and depreciation of the value of naira are possible factors that have contributed to the increase in price of food items, household commodities, and consumables; the percentage of increase in cost of transportation and some under factors listed above is significantly less than the percentage increase in the current prices of goods all ever the country.’

He also lamented that all efforts made by the government to arrest the consistent increase in food inflation had not yielded the desired results.

'There is a need to be more pragmatic about addressing food insecurity, curbing herder-farmer crises, kidnapping for ransom, and terrorism, and ensure the development of a viable National Commodity Board to regulate the price of grains and ensure the elimination of artificial contributions to food and commodity inflation in Nigeria,' he added.

In his contribution, Senator Ndume stated that this was the first time Nigeria was listed as one of the countries battling food insecurity.

He said: 'currently there are four countries, including Sudan and some others, that are facing very serious insecurity. Nigeria is added to this list this year by the International Rescue Committee as one of the spots for food insecurity action against hunger. World Food Programme also indicated that over 32 million people are expected to face a critical hunger crisis and emerging level between and August.

'I don’t know about some other colleagues, but here in the North, we have started seeing it visibly. This is the first time we are experiencing this level of hunger. It’s the first time Nigeria is being listed as one of the countries with food insecurity.'

In his comments, former senate president, Ahmad Lawan, noted that Nigerians have been extremely patient but for how long they would go on, he couldn’t guarantee.


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