By Gabriel Ewepu
THE Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said grains hoarders were doing themselves harm over piling the produce with hope of selling at an inflated price to the government.
This was stated by Lokpobiri when he disclosed that some grain buyers were embarking on the move to rip-off government by making unwholesome profits.
He said: “We have received reports about some individuals who call themselves businessmen and agro product dealers, who have hoarded large tonnes of harvested grains and hope to sell at exorbitant price to the Federal Government.
“We want to warn them to desist from this kind of business of sabotage to frustrate government’s good intention to make food available to Nigerians at affordable prices.
“We have no plan to buy grains from these unscrupulous third party businessmen ,who do not mean well for the people, and they are doing themselves harm .”
However, the Minister urged them to be partners in progress and said they should rather release the hoarded grains and make it available to Nigerians at affordable price, instead of allowing the grains lose nutritional value before selling to the people.
“It is also important to mention that in the spirit of enhancing our agricultural sector’s self-sufficiency policy, we appeal to those hoarding the grains to release them and make them available for consumers to buy.
“The implication of hoarding leads to loss of quality and nutritional value, also poor profit. Please don’t lose at both sides. Cooperate with the government as stakeholders instead of saboteurs”, he said.