Nigeria’s federal government on Tuesday said it had mapped out strategies to ensure that Nigerians would henceforth consume agricultural produce and other consumables produced in Nigeria.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Senator George Akume, stated this at a two-day sensitisation workshop on the role of the local governments at enhancing the capacity of the grassroots to maximise the benefits of the federal government food security emergency programme, held in Abuja.
He said the federal government was doing everything possible to remove Nigeria from the list of countries being referred to as dumping ground for foreign foods.
Akume said to actualise this, the federal government has commenced engagement and support for local governments across the country on good governance to enhance food security.
He said efforts were being made to make the third tier of government a catalyst for development towards the attainment of Nigeria’s development agenda.
This he said was to achieve the food security agenda of the present administration.
The SGF maintained that the federal government was not unaware of the challenges faced by local governments across the nation with regards to agricultural resources.
Akume said, “I make bold to say that the Office of the SGF under my leadership is poised and disposed to providing the needed leadership necessary for sustainable initiatives that will cascade down to the grassroots in the overall interest of the country
“The food security sensitisation programme is designed to create a forum for local government stakeholders to interface with the drafters and implementers of the food security emergency programme put in place by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Nigeria has no reason to import from any other nations of the world to meet its food needs. We have enough fertile land and able bodied men and materials to cultivate the land and grow our crops to meet our food requirements.
“As the giant of Africa , we need to get up from our slumber and grow what we eat and eat what we grow.”
In his opening remarks the Chief Executive of SEGNIP Promotions Limited, the organising partners of the workshop, Engineer Kayode Adegbayo, said the resource persons assembled for the event were some of the best brains that would offer participants the requisite knowledge they need to drive the food security agenda of their present administration.
Adegbayo, maintained that the local governments are the bedrock of agricultural resources and the moment the government gets it right at that level, the country would have set itself up for huge agricultural success and effortlessly end food importation.
The Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in Benue State, Phillips Achuwa, said being the food basket of the nation has the potential to feed a substantial part of the country if the agricultural challenges faced by the farmers were addressed.
He pointed out that the state Governor Reverend Fr. Hyacinth Alia has demonstrated commitment in ensuring that the state achieves food sufficiency.
Achuwa said, “We have the land, the climate and the man-power. We have a Governor that is willing to make Benue a better place and we will ensure we are the first state to prove to the country that we are ready to contribute to ending food insecurity in Nigeria.”