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Abdullahi: FG Should Declare A State Of Emergency On Security And Agriculture, Review Salaries

“The high rise of insecurity in Nigeria has contributed fully to the food insecurity”

Former Chairman of Prosecution of Armed Bandits and Banditry Related Offences in Zamfara State, Dr. Sani Abdullahi, has said that the Federal Government should order a State of Emergency on Security and on Agriculture in the country due to the high rate of food insecurity in Nigeria.

Abdullahi, while speaking in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, also said that the government should conduct an immediate review on the minimum wage and salaries of workers in the country, adding that the ban on importing foreign food should be lifted.

He said, “Government should declare state of emergency on security and agriculture, and there should be an immediate review of the workers’ wages and salaries. Because if you look at the situation now, the economic hardship, it’s itching every sector of the economy, and without money circulating, then there will be still a lot of problems.”

“The government should also lift the trade barrier on the importation of food items, and government should also encourage local production of food items. And also, government should find a way of making that the Nigerian currency is being appreciated.”

Speaking on the food insecurity in the nation, Abdullahi said, “There is a lot of root factor of food insecurity which was identified in Nigeria. There is low wages, poverty, unemployment, conflict and war, and differentiation of local currency, and corruption.”

He went on to say, “The high rise of insecurity in Nigeria has contributed fully to the food insecurity in Nigeria, People cannot go to their farmlands to farm in Zamfara state, in Plateau state, in Kaduna state, in many parts of the country including in the Southwest and the Southeast. So, one of the root factors, which is like a cancer cell in the food insecurity in Nigeria is the higher rise of insecurity cut across the six geo-political zones.”

He said that in Zamfara states, taxes were enforced on farmers and to the rural communities by bandits before they were allowed to cultivate on their farms, and these individuals would not get access to their farms unless they had paid this certain amount. He then said that they go through the same process when it is time for the people to harvest their crops.

“There was no farming activities going on in Zamfara state, which we have for over the past ten years. People have not been allowed by these criminal armed bandits to also cultivate their farmland. And even if they farm- during the dry season farming, the farm watermelon, potatoes, and other perishable items, yet these bandits will also bring their cows into the farmland and also eat up their farm crops. They even use it as a grazing land, and still, if the rural communities talk to them, then they will end up losing their lives,” he said.

Abdullahi then added that in the review of the minimum wage, workers should not ask for less than N200,000 as an increase in wages is paramount due to the rising and constantly increasing inflation rate and free fall of the naira.

“Government should have an immediate solution to the depreciation of the naira, and government should unlock the food reserves whereby these food items can be subsidized and sold to the members of the public at a low price. Because when the government bought these foods, it was at the lower rate. But now, one modu of local rice is N3,000, and one bag of foreign rice N75,000. Even the local rice here we process in Nigeria is more than N50,000 for 60 kg. So there should be immediate solution to this problem,” he said.

Abdullahi further said, “The solution to the food security is five pillars- accessibility, stability, availability, and utilization. So there should be an availability to remedy the situation, and there should be also accessibility and stability in the price, and there should be a proper utilization of these food items if the government has unlocked the food reserves in Nigeria.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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