Agric Minister, Abubakar Kyari
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA – AS food prices continue to soar, the new Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, Monday, acknowledged that one of the biggest problems in the country is hunger and vowed to tackle it head-on.
Kyari made this assertion while he assumed office at the headquarters of the Ministry in Abuja along with the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi.
He said: “It is a long road to where I am seated here I think it started 27 years ago. I won’t bore you with history, all I can say is I am ready and I am willing to commit 100 per cent to the service of this nation.
“We all know the challenges that we face now. Hunger is one of the big problems that we have in this country.
“And when I say hunger it also means food and there are challenges in production, and insecurity is one, flooding is another and there are other issues but for me and I think my colleagues and even State Governors, the biggest hope we have is the political will driven by the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, he made mention in his ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda that I also see that hope and commitment in him when he declared the food emergency in the country on the first day he announced when he was sworn-in and has made huge commitment to revive agriculture and secure the nation’s food.
However, the Minister expressed optimism, “I think we have a big challenge but not that it is unsurmountable.
“Our target is not only to secure and feed the country but also to export food which we have that potential and it is just there ready to be tapped.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, assured that they will vigorously pursue the ‘Renewed Hope’agenda of President Bola Tinubu in the agricultural sector on the heels of declaring state of emergency on food security.
“With the ‘Renewed Hope’ and Agenda of Mr. President, Commander in Chief and to ensure that the rechristening of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food security is not without a purpose.
“Mr. President has already declared emergency on food security and I am sure when we get down to work we will understand the import of our mission.
“For me is homecoming. I first resumed as a staff of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on 8 February 1995, and I was posted to Agric Sciences Department, which metamorphosed into the Council and I know the task before this ministry.
“However, there is no mission that is impossible when you have committed and dedicated people and I think with the leadership, my elder brother (Minister of Agriculture) will be given no doubt that we shall get to that promised land.”
He also added that they will sit with the management and staff of the Ministry to know where the Ministry is and where the Ministry will be heading according to the vision and aspirations of the President.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, in an address of welcome, expressed joy for the two Ministers coming in the sector is a perfect match.
Umakhihe said: “The Distinguished Senators who are now Honourable Ministers are a perfect match and definitely for us is a perfect match, and having them to run this Ministry for the next four years is a plus for by God’s grace.
“They have come with their wealth of experience to add value to this Ministry.
“It is an added plus to us to have the Honourable Minister and seeing him in the APC and having a leader of the party come to head the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We have a crop of dedicated staff and we commit 100 per cent to all your policies and policy direction, except in this meeting and subsequent meetings you will give us your charge on the direction you think we should go and we will follow, you are our leader.
“You would be rest assured that they have come to hit the ground running.”