I find it difficult to stand by and watch the Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar, tell lies that inspite of the protracted security challenge in the country, food production has not dropped.
What the minister is simply doing is telling lies to justify how the 1.1 billion in externally-funded agriculture projects was embezzled and misappropriated by the present administration nothing more nothing less .The 3.6 million direct and indirect jobs he claimed to have been created is mere paper work and has not impacted on the lives of Nigerians in terms of food production .
In case the minister is pretending not to know , we need to drum it into his ears that there is famine in Nigeria as a result of insecurity which has massively disrupted food production in Nigeria as a result of which we are relying heavily on food either imported or smuggled into the country.
Farmers not just only in the North-east, North-west, and North-central alone but in the entire country including Ughelli in Delta State where I come from cannot access their farms because of the height of insecurity in the country . The Nigerian government have failed, refused and/or neglected to provide security to protect Nigerians from terrorist and the Fulani herdsmen attacks . The terrorist and Fulani herdsmen are out rightly using hunger as a tool of war against Nigerians . They have successfully chased millions of Nigerians from the rural areas to urban areas and into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and have refused to allow them to go back to their ancestral homes which have been taken over by them . These group of terrorised people cannot go back to their farms to harvest their crops to date and are left to starve and live under poor and excruciating conditions . In few instances where the terrorist allow Nigerians to go to farm , they do so on the terms that they pay taxes to the terrorist which the government is aware of but turn a blind eye , the end result of this is that it adds to the cost of production. of food. Painfully too is wicked act of some Fulani herdsmen who destroy the crops of Nigerian farmers by cutting them down , uprooting them , setting them ablaze or allowing their cattles to feed on them
The arrangement for the agro-rangers is no match for the heavily armed terrorist who are even more armed than the Nigerian police and military . In cases where the terrorist and Fulani herdsmen are caught they are let go by the government because they are above the law and untouchable . Despite having killed farmers and destroyed their property they are forgiven , deradicalized , and reintegrated into the society leaving their victims ,the farmers without recompense..
The $538 million dollars approved by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for special agricultural processing zones to support inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria is waste without security.
The Nigerian government must stop lying about Nigeria’s food production sufficiency which they claimed has placed the country as number 1 in Africa and 4th in the world in rice production . The Nigeria. Government must stop lying about the rice pyramid when a bag of rice is now N35,000.00 and three spoons of cooked rice goes for one thousand naira . I challenge the minister to go to our restaurants and he will see for himself that what we are being offered and served today are like remnant collections to feed our dogs seven years ago . Family size bread now sells for N1,000.00 . A measure of beans (called Mudu) which sold for N900.00 last year now sells for N2,500.00 The prices of other commodities like yam , onions, tomatoes , pepper and cassava flour, have also risen exponentially. Protein is also in short supply as a cube of beef or goat meat now goes for N400.00 , the chicken and turkey are also looking miserable at the rate of N1, 500.00 a piece . Same applies to fish .The minister must stop lying that President Muhammadu Buhari has lived up to his promise t o lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.
Until the federal government of Nigeria takes the security of the country seriously by ensuring that there is peace and tranquility in the land , so that people can return to their land to farm without fear of being killed, kidnapped , dehumanised , brutalised , rapped , maimed , sodomised ,extorted or get their property destroyed, I am afraid Nigeria shall get to a point when Nigerians will go into the restaurant and there will be no food to buy , go into the supper market there will be nothing on the shelves and having money in their pockets but nothing to buy .
Worst of all , my fear is that if God forbid there is a break down of law and order or the out break of a war in Nigeria , it will catastrophic because hunger and starvation will definitely kill more people than bullets .
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