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15 Nov 2016

Impending Famine Looms in Nigeria - Presidential Spokesman Warns

Garba Shehu

While speaking in a radio interview in Kano on Monday, the presidential senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, warned that Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer of cereals and grains, risks famine from early next year following a huge demand in the global market targeting the country’s surplus production.

According to a report by Premium Times, the spokesman for the president, told Pyramid radio that the “huge demand for our grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian food across our borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of grains by January next year.”

Shehu said the Ministry of Agriculture advised the president to call the attention of all Nigerians to the issue which, if not addressed promptly, could lead to a shortage of grains in the country.

“Over the past year, providence has blessed Nigeria with a bountiful harvest of grains, more than enough to feed the country and to export to other countries.

“At present, there is a high demand for grains from Nigeria, from African countries as distant as Libya and Algeria, and from places as far away as Brazil. However, the ministry of agriculture has raised concerns about a massive rate of exportation, which could lead to a shortage of grains in Nigeria by January,” Shehu said.

He explained that Nigeria currently enjoys a free market situation.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is not in any way opposed to or intent on tampering with that. On the other hand, exporters also have a moral obligation to make their produce available to Nigerians who live within our country’s borders, to ensure that our citizens have access to food.”

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