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February 24, 2024

Hardship: Why free distribution of grains is delayed – Presidency

Hardship: Why free distribution of grains is delayed - Presidency

President Bola Tinubu has given reasons behind the delay of the free distribution of 42,000 metric tonnes of grains to Nigerians to tackle the current food insecurity.

Recall that the Minister of Agriculture on February 8, promised that the federal government would distribute millet, maize and other food commodities to vulnerable Nigerians to ameliorate hardship.

But for almost three weeks, no grains or food commodities have been given to Nigerians as the economy bites hard with the high cost of food.

Explaining the delay, Special Adviser to the President Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga said the bagging of grains is ongoing in seven strategic places in the country.

Onanuga also said the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been in charge of bagging the grains that would soon be delivered to indigent Nigerians.

He said this in a statement issued on Friday, reiterating the assurance that Nigerians will soon receive free gains.

The presidential aide also said that 60,000 metric tonnes of rice will be provided by the federal government to give to Nigerians.

“The Tinubu administration through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is in the final stages of releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities to support the vulnerable population across the country,” Onanuga said in the statement.

“The grains in seven locations of strategic reserve, are now being bagged for onward delivery to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The need to bag the grains, caused the delay as the bags were freshly ordered by the government. 

“Nigerians will not need to pay for the grain bags, as they are free.

“This will be complemented by the 60,000 metric tonnes of milled rice to be purchased by the Federal Government from the Mega Rice Millers. 

“Already, with the announcement of the impending releases of food commodities from the Strategic Reserve, there is a noticeable reduction in commodity prices across major grains markets in the country, Minister of Agriculture, Senator Abubakar Kyari.”