Protest over high prices: No food shortage in Nigeria —FG

Protest over high prices: No food shortage in Nigeria —FG

The Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila,
met behind closed doors with the National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu
Ribadu, and some ministers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, over
food security and protests in some states.

The meeting, which began at about 05:30 pm, also had in
attendance the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso; Ministers
of Education, Dr Tahir Mamman; Finance, Wale Edun; Budget and National
Planning, Atiku Bagudu; Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari; and State for Agriculture,
Sabi Abdullahi.

The parley was held as the ruling All Progressives Congress,
APC, and some opposition parties disagreed over cost of living protests in
Niger and Kano states.

While the APC accused the opposition of sponsoring what it
dismissed as anti-President Bola Tinubu protests, the Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP, Labour Party, LP, and Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, said
the APC was chasing shadows and had itself to blame for the protests.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting that
lasted for about three hours, the Minister of Information and National
Orientation, Mohammed Idris, expressed President Bola Tinubu’s worry over the
development.

He said that the President has directed that the situation
should be arrested by the Presidential Committee in order to reduce hardship on
the populace.

The Minister, who said that there is enough food in the
country, added that some elements are trying to take advantage of the high food
prices and the depreciation of naira to cause havoc.

He said, “We just rounded off a meeting. It is a special
presidential committee to address the issue of food shortage or lack of enough
food on the table of most Nigerians.

“This is just the beginning of that meeting. It is going to
continue tomorrow and day after tomorrow. The government is very concerned
about what Nigerians are going through, especially what has happened in Minna
yesterday, and therefore government is taking some action to ensure that
Nigerians have some relief in terms of the availability of food on the table.

“Of course, this meeting is not by itself exhaustive. It’s
just like I said, the beginning. It is going to continue tomorrow and the day
after.

 “Now, some of these
will involve unlocking the foods that are available in most of the storage
facilities (National Food Reserve) around the country. You know that the
Federal Minister of Agriculture has some food reserves. That is going to be
made available to Nigerians.”

The meeting was held on the heels of the protests by women
in Minna, Niger State, and that of angry youths in Kano over the rising cost of
living in the country.

A group of women in Minna, Niger State, had on Monday,
blocked the ever-busy Minna-Bida Road at the popular Kpakungu Roundabout and
called on the administration of President Bola Tinubu to address the problem of
‘hunger in the land.’

Youths in Kano also protested over the hardship in the
country and the state governor, Abba Yusuf, assured them that he would take
their complaints to the President.

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