President Muhammad Buhari has ordered the minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Mohammed, to release 40,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains from the strategic grain reserves to Nigerians.
According to the Minister, the President’s decision is influenced by the need to protect Nigerians from the impact of the Ukraine and Russia crisis which has indirectly impacted the importation of essential grains into the country.
He also said that the people of the country should be given a cushion during the Ramadan period and Easter festivities.
Confirming Buhari’s order, Mohammed said, “I’m here this afternoon as a result of summoning by His Excellency, Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari. He actually directed and approved the release of grains from our Strategic grain Reserve by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“This is to cushion the effect of some of the issues we are facing with high prices of commodities across the country and also to cushion these festivities; Ramadan, Easter, Salah so that there will be a little cushion for the people during these festivities.
“Not just us, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, but also that we’ll be giving some of these grains to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to also do the same distribution, the grain is coming from our Strategic Grains Reserve, as directed by Mr. President”.
“Yes indeed, the Russian/Ukraine conflict is an issue of concern. As a result of that Mr. President has directed that we sit and discuss and not just the Ministry of Agriculture, but NALDA, NCFI, all of those that are concerned, the Central Bank. We have met about two to three times to discuss the issue of Ukraine. Yes, indeed, Nigeria imports grains and other agricultural input from Ukraine, we are making sure that we look inwards and outwards to make sure this conflict does not affect our agricultural sector.