Oluwo of Iwo urges Tinubu to lift ban on food imports

Oluwo of Iwo urges Tinubu to lift ban on food imports

Oluwo of Iwo urges Tinubu to lift ban on food imports

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, on Tuesday, urged President Bola Tinubu to open the borders and allow food items to come into the country in a bid to solve the food crisis ravaging the country.

Oba Akanbi, in a statement obtained in Osogbo on Tuesday, also suggested the importation of grains and building materials to create a competitive market and check inflation.

Oluwo believed that border opening for at least the next 6 months has become necessary to checkmate the alleged acts of saboteur by local producers, who were frustrating the economy.

The monarch, who said the border with the Niger Republic should, however, remain shut, further alleged that saboteurs were happy with the turn of things in the country, and urged the Federal Government to control the prices of grains and building materials which can best be achieved by stopping the export of the locally produced items and importation for a certain period.

Oluwo, in the statement signed by his Press Secretary, Alli Ibraheem, also said, “The high cost of food items is killing and it calls for urgent action by the government. All borders should be opened excluding Niger R├ępublic to control the skyrocketing prices of goods. President Ahmed Tinubu should permit the importation of all food items except GMO products. Ban must especially be lifted on the importation of rice and all types of grains.

“The local producers or manufacturers of goods are our major saboteurs of the economy. They should be checked by encouraging competition. Local items should not be exported. To add to the local products, grains and building materials should be allowed to be imported. Such will create competition and control the high price of goods.

“I am smelling saboteur. Most local producers are frustrating the government’s economic efforts. Necessary steps to shame the saboteurs must be considered in a timely enforced. Most Nigerians have lots of money outside the country but are unwilling to bring it home. I am sure they will be willing to bring it in if these options are considered. At least for the next 6 months, borders should be declared open to checkmate the inflation and stabilize food prices.”

As a temporary response to the nation’s growing food crisis and the rising cost of commodities, Tinubu had on February 8, 2023, ordered the immediate release of more than 102,000 metric tons of various grain types from the National Food Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the last leg of a series of three meetings of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention at the Aso Rock Villa on Thursday.

Idris said, “The first one is that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been directed to release about 42,000 metric tons of maize, millet, garri, and other commodities in their strategic reserve so that these items will be made available to Nigerians; 42,000 metric tons immediately.

“The second one is that we have held meetings with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria. Those who are responsible for producing this rice and we have asked them to open up their stores.

“They’ve told us that they can guarantee about 60,000 metric tons of rice. This will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigerians the next one month to six weeks, perhaps up to two months"

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