Reps reject Jonathan

The House of Representatives on Wednesday dumped an executive legislation proposing to make cassava a compulsory ingredient in all flour products in Nigeria, in what appears a big blow to President Goodluck Jonathan’s cassava bread campaign.

The president launched the cassava bread campaign early this year at the State House, publicly announcing his choice for the bread and encouraging Nigerians and administration officials to adopt the variety as a boost for cassava production and a comatose agricultural sector.

Broad production of the flour would save Nigeria N250 billion in foreign exchange from reduced import of wheat and wheat flour, Agric minister, Adewunmi Adesina, said recently.

The bill “for an act to provide for the mandatory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith”, introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture, if approved by the lawmakers, would have represented the biggest gain yet for the presidential initiative.

Lawmakers rose against the passage and defeated attempts to allow the bill a second reading.

Sponsors of the bill had argued that cassava was produced in large quantities in the country and with the President Jonathan’s initiative on cassava bread; it was necessary the National Assembly enacted a law to criminalize its exclusion from flour products.

Peter Edeh (PDP, Edo) who led the opposition against the bill argued that compelling manufacturers of flour to include cassava would amount to compelling Nigerians to eat products that may be injurious to their health.

“Thirty to 40 Nigerians are diabetic and it will be unfair to compel them to eat cassava products since most diabetic patients are barred from consuming foods such as cassava,” he said.

“It will be impinging on people’s rights and endangering their lives to compulsorily include cassava in what they eat.

Majority of members on the floor kicked against the proposal and advised the government to rather find ways of enhancing the exportation of cassava instead of forcing people to consume it.




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  • Countess of Custardy

    ‘Majority of members on the floor kicked against the proposal and advise the government to rather find ways of enhancing the exportation of cassava instead of forcing people to consume it.’ GOOD!

  • Ha hha this is Banana republic for you!

  • Watfronig

    Mr. President: you did not do your homework well. You should have convinced your legislators that the 250 trillion dollars to be saved from the importation of flour will be used to provide free health services for diabetics that the animal feed (sorry, cassava) consumption will save the Nigerian economy. So your plan now is to feed us with animal feeds so that you and mama Umblerra can live better in Aso Rock. In spite of your prodigal annual food budget?

  • Followtruth

    The present government is just bereft of ideas that will enhance economic growth. GEJ initially thought governing a country like Nigeria is basically a ‘goodluck or good will’ affair. I am yet to see any element of ‘transformation agenda’ in his policies so far, except for sky rocketed corruption and fraud.

  • Hon.Ebiri.

    President GEJ is from the same State with me.However, he is yet to realise that Nigerians dont like his dancing steps.He should refrain from unpopular policies and maintain DISTANCE from Ambassador Felix Oboro,the looter of Embassy funds, an oil bunkerer and DRUG BARON.