Foodie Naija Update

Foodie Naija Update (Nigeria imports N1.3trillion worth of food annually)

Chairman, House of
Representatives Committee on
Agricultural Colleges
and Institutions, Hon. Linus Abaa Okorie has expressed concern
over the lack of sustainable food
policy in Nigeria.

He said the policy would have ensured food sufficiency and by extension trigger employment
opportunities as well as poverty eradication in Nigeria.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Committee’s interactive session
with the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and
Rural Development in Abuja, he said despite efforts by previous
administration at redeeming Nigeria’s
economy through agriculture, it was worrisome that the nation still spent a capital flight of over N1.3 trillion annually against its inherent potentials.

“I want to point out the precarious and unsustainable state of our current food policy that is anchored on an annual food import of more than N1.3 trillion and the
incontrovertible potentials of
Nigeria’s agriculture”, he noted.

Linus added that such policies that had defied all known
approach to robust agriculture since the 80s despite the nation’s critical
population was as a result of a whole some neglect of research, education and extension system, which was a key driver of the
sector.

He regretted that they were being strangulated through
policy instability, poor funding, lack of
political will as well as obsolete legal framework.

The Chairman was emphatic that crises rocking Cocoa Research Institute, Ibadan was one of
those sabotages that has occasioned loss
of resources in the last one else month, while promising that the Committee would wade into the crises.

“Crises at the Cocoa Research Institute, Ibadan has led to the
forced closure of the Institute for over a
month now with attendant loses of
resources, confidence and capacity”, he emphasised.

Speaking further, he called on the
Minister to revive the Agricultural
Development Programme so as
to drive the National agricultural extension system that would
eventually capture farmers directly,
noting that extension services was on the concurrent list.
Responding, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe reiterated
the commitment of his Ministry in
collaborating with the Committee in the course of their oversight functions, stressing that activities of agricultural institutions must be
properly superintended for
maximum output.

He lamented that the nation’s agricultural economy had been
killed as a result of illegal importation of
rice, frozen foods and other food items through Seme and
Cameron borders, a situation he said had
destroyed the nation’s capacity of feeding over 60,000,000 Africans.

“Important of rice and frozen foods illegally through Seme and Cameron borders is a threat to our economy and it has killed our local rice production which was expected to feed other 60,000,000 Africans”, Ogbe said.

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