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Hardship: NEC outlines measures to ensure food security

The National Economic Council (NEC) has taken steps to put an end to the economic challenges confronting the nation, including making fertilizer available to farmers…

The National Economic Council (NEC) has taken steps to put an end to the economic challenges confronting the nation, including making fertilizer available to farmers and the establishment of Agro-Rangers to tackle insecurity on the farms.

The decision was reached on Thursday during the 139th meeting of the Council held virtually and chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

This is also as the Vice President noted that with collective efforts in developing a clear and actionable roadmap through short-term, medium, and long-term strategies, Nigeria will overcome its economic challenges in the country.

Following a presentation by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, on food security in the country, Vice President Shettima directed a meeting of the federal government with major fertilizer producers in the country, including Indorama, Dangote and Notore.

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NEC noted that fertiliser is a major ingredient of agricultural productivity which the government is striving to attain and urged the state governors to embrace modern agricultural practices to increase food productivity.

NEC also considered the establishment of agro-rangers in the short-term and the possible creation of state police in the long-term to address security threats on farmers.

In his presentation, the Minister of Agriculture also called for action against dollarisation of locally produced commodities like urea, which is impacting negatively on fertilizer prices and agricultural productivity.

On his part, Vice President Shettima called for sound economic decisions that will reverberate with the expectations of Nigerians.

He regretted that Nigeria had been a victim of strong averseness to evolving and keeping up with the changing global economic order, leading to a situation where making difficult decisions to maximize its potential has become inevitable.

“We must either redirect the economy towards a place of boom and competitiveness or brace for an impact we are unlikely to survive. So, beyond the heritage of our financial and monetary fiascos, we must compare notes to understand the interconnectedness of the dysfunctions in each sector of the economy,” he said.

Delivering his opening speech titled, “It’s Time To Speed Up Our Prosperity Quest,” Shettima told council members that it is President Bola Tinubu’s desire that they all stand together to collectively proffer solutions to safeguard the nation’s economy from imminent implosion.

He observed that while the wealth of every nation is in the belly of its citizens, the government has a long distance to cover in its interventions to enhance “food availability and affordability.

“The call to secure and liberate areas under threat from violence, most of which are arable lands owned by our farming communities, is not just a matter of security but a strategic move to revive the economic lifeblood of our nation,” he added.

Noting that the citizens are only keen about tangible results, the VP stated that while economic experts foresaw this transitional phase on our journey to a flourishing future, it is crucial to recognize that the ordinary citizen on the street is not concerned with any economic theory. Their daily concerns are anchored in the tangible.

“They are more invested in the price of maize than the predictions of GDP. So, as we deliberate on intricate economic strategies today, let us remain attuned to the heartbeat of the nation. We must ensure that our decisions resonate with the aspirations of the common man and woman who entrust us with their hopes and dreams.”

Acknowledging that the country is in the midst of a pervasive emergency, VP Shettima implored state governors, ministers and other NEC members to align their minds and actions with the reality on the ground.

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