Following the Gbajabiamila, Ribadu, ministers’ emergency meeting, which lasted for three hours late Tuesday, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation briefed State House reporters and listed “unlocking the foods that are available in most of the storage facilities (National Food Reserve)” as one of the measures FG set to put in place to alleviate the hardships faced by the Nigerian people.
Idris affirmed that the Federal Minister of Agriculture has some food reserves, saying “That is going to be made available to Nigerians.”
The Minister expressed President Tinubu’s serious concern about the situation and announced the President’s direction to the Presidential Committee to take decisive action to alleviate the hardships faced by the Nigerian people.
Minister Idris informed the public that the country had adequate food supply, but recognised that certain individuals were exploiting the situation of high food prices and the depreciation of the naira for their profit.
He said, “We just rounded off a meeting. It is a special presidential committee to address the issue of food shortage or lack of enough food on the table of most Nigerians.
“This is just the beginning of that meeting. It is going to continue tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The government is very concerned about what Nigerians are going through, especially what happened in Minna yesterday, and therefore the government is taking some action to ensure that Nigerians have some relief in terms of the availability of food on the table.
“Of course, this meeting is not by itself exhaustive. It’s just like I said, the beginning. It is going to continue tomorrow and the day after.
“Now, some of these will involve unlocking the foods that are available in most of the storage facilities (National Food Reserve) around the country. You know that the Federal Minister of Agriculture has some food reserves. That is going to be made available to Nigerians.”
The meeting, which began around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, was a planned response to mounting concerns about cost of living protests in Niger and Kano states.
The meeting had in attendance the Ministers of Education (Dr Tahir Mamman), Finance (Wale Edun), Budget and National Planning (Atiku Bagudu), Agriculture (Abubakar Kyari), and State for Agriculture (Sabi Abdullahi).
The meeting took place against the backdrop of a political conflict, with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) blaming opposition groups, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and Coalition of United Political Groups (CUPP), of inciting anti-government protests.
The opposition, in turn, chastised the APC for failing to address the country’s economic woes, which they claim prompted the protests.