Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has urged the Federal Government to immediately stop the export of food items to neighbouring countries, especially through the land border.
Speaking in Isa Local Government Area of the state at the flag off of the 2017 dry season wheat farming, Mr. Tambuwal also called on the federal government to come up with emergency plans to purchase excess grains from the farmers so as to boost grains reservoir in all parts of the country.
The governor made the call apparently in response to a warning by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, that the country’s markets risk imminent shortage of grains if measures are not taken to curtail their export.
Mr. Shehu who spoke to Pyramid radio in Kano said the “huge demand for our grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian grains across our borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of food by January next year.”
Mr. Tambuwal also raised the alarm over the massive exportation of grains from Nigeria, saying it portends great dangers to Nigeria’s future food security.
“I keep wondering why we have to ban import of food, especially rice, from the land border but allow massive export of our food commodity to neighbouring countries.
“Considering our population, we must take measures that will enhance food security in our country,” the governor said.
Speaking at the event, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said despite challenges, Nigeria is on the verge of being self sufficient in food production.
According to him, the journey to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, especially rice is already being realized.
“This is where the country can feed itself and even have surplus for exports,” he said.
Mr. Emefiele commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his ongoing efforts to diversify the nation’s economy from heavy dependence on oil revenue, saying he deserves commendation for allowing the CBN initiate the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The CBN governor also commended Mr. Tambuwal for providing adequate subsidized fertilizers and other inputs to the farmers.