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Food security: Buhari’s indelible legacy largely downplayed – Lai Mohammed

By NAN
08 December 2022   |   2:06 pm
The Federal Government says one of the indelible legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, largely downplayed is food security and the scaling up of made-in-Nigeria products.

A trader display farm produce at Wuse Market, Abuja, Nigeria, on August 17, 2021. – Threatened by insecurity, farmers in Nigeria’s farm belt are increasingly abandoning their land, leading to supply problems and adding to the already high cost of food in Africa’s most populous country. Nigeria’s Middle Belt and northwestern states have for years been caught in violence between normadic herdsman and farmers as climate change intensifies rivalries over water and land. But that violence has spiralled into security crisis tit-for-tat attacks and expanded into widespread kidnapping, cattle theft and criminal banditary. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

The Federal Government says one of the indelible legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, largely downplayed is food security and the scaling up of made-in-Nigeria products.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the 9th edition of the ”PMB Administration. Scorecard Series (2015-2023)” which featured the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the scorecard series was launched in October as part of an overall programme to showcase and document the numerous achievements of the Buhari administration

In an opening remark, Mohammed noted that in spite of the crises affecting the cost of living globally, the administration had done well since assuming office in the area of self-sufficiency in most basic needs.

“I am sure many of us have seen video clips of empty supermarket shelves in the Western world, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and the economic uncertainty, which have all combined to disrupt global supply chains.

“Long before these crises, however, President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a statement that has now turned out to be prescient, admonished Nigerians to grow what they eat and eat what they grow.

“Then, many neither understood the importance of that admonition nor appreciated its relevance.

“Well, it turned out that the consequence of that statement made Nigerians to look inward and relied less on imports.

“This has saved Nigerians from hunger, especially during the prolonged global lockdown, when exporting nations shut their ports and borders and nations that relied on imports were struggling to meet their needs,” he said.

The minister noted that the worse could have happened if the country had, during the period of the crises, relied on imports to feed itself.

According to the minister, the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative was a successful policy that made the production and distribution of fertiliser to farmers effective.

He said the increase in the number of fertiliser blending plants in the country from 10 in 2015 to 142 and the increase in the number of rice mills also from 10 in 2015 to 80 integrated rice mills, presently aided food sufficiency.

“Our farmers are now part of our economy. Companies and factories are coming up to manufacture process and distribute food.

“If you visit our markets and supermarkets today, what you will see mostly are ‘made in Nigeria’ products. This is huge progress in such a short time,” he said.

Responding to the question of high prices of food items, the minister assured that as the country engaged more in local food production and move closer to achieving food security, prices would begin to fall.

“For now, we must acknowledge the success we have achieved in the area of food production and in scaling up made-in-Nigeria products’’ he said.