Senate links food insecurity to poor planning, others
•Group seeks vetoing of chamber’s proceedings over sacked member
The Senate says poor planning, inaccurate statistical data and non-implementation of existing agricultural policies are responsible for the food insecurity in the country.
According to the Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu yesterday in Abuja, the upper chamber of the National Assembly described the recent export of rotten yams to Europe as shameful and an act of sabotage to government’s economic policies.
It, therefore, called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
On the widespread hunger in the land, Senator Adamu wondered why government could not assert itself on production and consumption.
The chamber regretted that “we are not producing enough food because what we produce at the moment is not really planned. It is not planned in the sense that at a point in time, we talked of estimates that were not really realistic.
“For instance, we are proud to beat our chest that we are the biggest yam producer in the world, but how much are we producing? Tell anybody how much yam is produced in Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Niger, Oyo and Edo states. You are talking of cassava. How much cassava is produced? How much is produced in Ogun, Lagos, Sokoto and Kwara states?
“How much cassava is produced in each of the states, what is the quantum produced in Nigeria. What is the target that government has set for this production. And ditto sorghum, maize, orange, pineapple, mango?”
The committee chairman further noted: “We do not have any set national target. I believe very strongly that as a country, to set targets is not impossible. They do it in other parts of the world. Why can’t we do it here?”
Meanwhile, a rights and election monitoring group, People’s Right to Life Development Foundation (PERLDEF), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to veto the chamber’s legislative proceedings involving the sacked representative of Akwa Ibom North-East, Bassey Akpan.
A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo had nullified his election on February 27 this year.
Justice Fatun Riman ruled that he should refund all salaries and entitlements he had so far collected as a senator.
He also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a fresh certificate of return to his challenger, Bassey Etim, as well as the National Assembly to swear him in as replacement.
Consequent upon the refusal by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to comply with the order, the group, in a petition to the President dated October 17, 2017, queried the continued presence of Akpan in the chamber when his certificate of return had already been withdrawn.
Endorsed by its National Chairman, Comrade Ifot Nathaniel, PERLDEF insisted that his continued participation in the activities of the Senate renders the proceedings null and void.
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