A Pan-Africa non-governmental organisation (NGO), Feed Africa Advocacy Network (FAAN) has declared that the recent border closure by the federal government which has triggered an astronomical increase in the prices of some food has exposed the reality that Nigeria is far from meeting domestic needs.
The closure has led to a sharp increase in the prices of some major
foods, including rice, questioning official claim that the country is
self-sufficient in rice production.
A 50 kilogram bag of local UMZA rice goes for about N19,500 as against N14,000-N15,000 before the border closure while another local brand, Big Bull sells for about N21,000 now as against N15,000 earlier.
At a briefing in Abuja, the Executive Director FAAN, Chika Okeke said the border closure with the attendant spike in the price of rice and other food items was indicative that local production of such foods is not enough to satisfy domestic demand.
Acccording to him, the border closure is a blessing in disguise as it has now exposed the gap in local production, advising the goverment and farmers to cash in on this and focus on boosting domestic production with a view to discouraging smuggling and dependence on foreign foods.
He lamented that the allocation of N83 billion to the agriculture sector in the 2020 budget proposal was abysmal and needed to be revisited.
Okeke canvassed a supplementary budget to meet some of the critical needs required to stimulate the growth of the sector, regretting that the 2020 budgetary allocation for the sector is not in tandem with government’s pronouncements about taking agriculture seriously.
“The budget is not sufficient. It is no where close to what we expected. It is not close to where we are coming from and it will not take us to where we are going to.
“There is a need for a supplementary allocation for agriculture if we must walk the talk of diversification of the economy.The federal government needs to revisit the allocation to the sector.
“So, we need to do more as a country. Africa cannot feed itself if Nigeria is not food sufficient. So for as long as Nigeria continues to sneeze–as far as budget is concerned, Africa will catch cold, ” he said.
Okeke said it was disturbing that at a time when other countries are tapping into new opportunities in the agricultural sector by allocating huge budgets, Nigeria’s budget is on the decline.
“For Africa to feed itself, Nigeria first needs to be self sufficient. We need investment to stimulate key sectors of the economy as far as agricultural value chain is concerned,” he said.
On border closure, Okeke commended the federal government for taking such a bold step, advising President Muhammadu Buhari not to pander to pressure to reverse the action.
Border Closure: Alomo Bitters Manufacturer Loses $2m
As the raging issues of border Closure by Buhari-led administration continues with Nigeria and even Ami neighbouring Africa nations.
KasaprekoLimited, is the manufacturer of Alomo Bitters, a beverage widely consumed by Nigerians.
The company is also Ghana’s largest local beverage manufacturer. It has lost about $2 million in revenue following the border closure by the Nigeria government.
This was made known in by Francis Holly Adzah, Kasaprekos Head of International Business Development when he stated in an interview with a Ghanaian news website, JoyBusiness that they have lost about $2 million in revenue following the action of the Federal Government of Nigeria to close borders with neighbouring countries.
Buhari Working Hard To Meet Nigerians Need -Oshiomhole
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to accelerate economic growth with a view to meeting the needs of Nigerians in his second term in office.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, on Tuesday, Oshiomhole said this when a delegation from the Vietnamese Government paid him a courtesy in Abuja. The delegation was led by His Excellency, Nguyen Hai Ninh, the Deputy Chief of Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
According to him, to achieve this, the APC led Federal Government is reviving our textile industry. “The idea is to work towards taking advantage of comparative advantage in this sector in order to help provide jobs to the over 200 million of our population,” Oshiomhole said.
According to him, Buhari is in a hurry to provide jobs to unemployed Nigerians as well as accelerate the growth of the economy.
It is as a result of this that the APC led administration is fighting corruption vigorously for our commonwealth not to be concentrated in the hands of a few, but that of the majority.
“With a population of 200 million, we have the advantage of a huge market, but we also have a huge challenge of ensuring an economic growth that will make those 200 million people comfortable. “Before the coming of Buhari, we missed lots of opportunities,” he said.
Oshiomhole said that the country had challenges in power supply and security, adding that the President was fighting corruption to preventing few people from taking the wealth meant for the nation.
“Nigerians voted overwhelmingly for our President, so we are going to take advantage of the second term to ensure that we accelerate economic growth for us to meet the needs of our people.
“Right now, we are focusing on ensuring that we have a power supply. Vietnam has a strong textile industry and you have an international market, so I am glad to know about that.
“I am particularly keen on this because I work in the textile factory before and I think that there are one or two things we can learn from your experience because we are on the verge of reviving our textile industry which will help us create jobs,” he said. Oshiomhole commended the Vietnamese Government for backing Nigeria in its bid for the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly.
He said that the countries would continue to deepen relationships in areas of trade and investment for the benefit of the two countries. Earlier, Hai Nin said the visit was to establish official relationship between the APC led government and the communist party of Vietnam.
He solicited the assistance of Nigeria in settling the crisis between Vietnam and China over the disputed South China sea, urging Nigeria to insist that the dispute be settled according to the UN established laws. (NAN)
Bayelsa Guber: Jonathan Kinsmen, Others Joins APC
As the gubernatorial polls of Bayelsa is drawing nearer on daily basis, grassroots politicians and kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Robert Enogha and Chief Claudius Enegesi have dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Prior to his defection, Enogha was the Chairman, Bayelsa Environmental Sanitation Authority and former two-time member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. Enogha, who was until his defection one of the restoration leaders in Ogbia, was also a former Commissioner for Environment in the state. Enegesi, one of the political associates of Jonathan, was a Speaker in the old Rivers State when Ada George was the governor.
The party stalwart, who was the pioneer Chairman of the PDP in Bayelsa when the party was formed in 1998, was a former national executive member of the party and a former caucus chairman of PDP, Ogbia chapter.
Also in Nembe, Chief Bright Erewari-Igbeta, a former House of Assembly member and presently Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment resigned his appointment from the government and also from the party. In the same council, Chief James Jephthah aka Octopus after series of meeting with leaders and supporters of PDP under the Octopus Umbrella said he and his political associates had decided to withdraw their membership of the PDP. But Enigha while jointing the APC cited dictatorial tendencies in PDP as a reason for his decision to leave the party. He said: “I write to formally inform you of my withdrawal of membership from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
I am doing this with so much pain as a founding member of the party which was truly democratic as at then. “I must acknowledge the immense benefit and experience I have gathered over the years through service as a loyal and faithful member. However I have lost confidence in the party’s ability to accept where the opinion of majority counts, hence my resignation”.
Also in Brass, Chief Beimo Spiff the coordinator of the PDP governorship campaign council in Brass Local Government Area and brother to Senator Inatimi Rufus Spiff, Chairman of the PDP reconciliation committee, dumped the party for the APC.
Spiff and his supporters were received by the Secretary of the party, Alabo Martins. Beimo- Spiff in his letter of resignation addressed to the Chairman of the party said he was resigning from the party due to some “despicable injustices in the party
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