President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that his administration is working hard to address food inflation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect of floods on agricultural activities in the country.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Monday, July 19, in Abuja, said Buhari stated this in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians.
In the message marking the auspicious Muslim occasion, the president restated the determination of his administration; to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country in which the safety of life as well as property is assured.
While reflecting on current challenges facing the country, the president stated that the “COVID-19 pandemic had taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria”.
Buhari added that floods had caused large-scale destruction to agricultural farmlands; thereby “impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.
“No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities; through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”
The president noted that apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods; middlemen had also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians.
According to him, this has further undermined the government’s efforts of supporting local food production at affordable prices.
“As an elected president who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate; let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians; including making fertiliser available at affordable prices to our farmers,” he added.
The president also noted that the current insecurity in the country “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture; because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists”.
Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration had taken measures to address the nation’s security challenges.