CBN’s naira re-design rendered farmers empty financially – FG

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The Federal Government on Monday said the naira redesign policy carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria from December 15, 2022, to early February this year when the Supreme Court ruled against it, ran farmers bankrupt.

In a similar lamentation, federal lawmakers declared that the rate of hunger and famine in the land is resulting in the deaths of the poor in rural areas.

Lamentations on the effects of the controversial naira re-design and hunger arising from insecurity came to the fore during the budget defence session the  Minister of  Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, had before the National  Assembly Joint Committee on Agriculture.

In his presentation before the joint committee chaired by Senator Saliu Mustapha ( APC Kwara Central), the minister said the focus of the 2024 budgetary proposals for the sector is to achieve food security in the country.

According to him, several factors like insecurity and the naira re-design policy carried out about a year ago, impoverished the farmers and severely threatened food security in the country.

“The cash crunch caused by the naira re-design made most of the farmers sold their farm produce at giveaway prices for survival since buyers couldn’t access cash to buy the produce from them.

“The policy which coincided with harvest season, ended rendering the farmers empty financially,” he said.

In their separate remarks at the session,  Dahiru  Haruna from Toro Federal Constituency in Bauchi State and  Ademorin Kuye from Shomolu Federal Constituency, Lagos State, raised the alarm on urgent need by the Federal Government to address the high rate of hunger in the country largely caused by insecurity.

Haruna, in his remarks, said ” Minister, being from the North East, the picture I am about to paint shouldn’t be strange to you at all.

“The pathetic picture of people dying of hunger daily while majority of those surviving, feed once a day.

“Making it worrisome is the fact that even people from neighbouring countries like Chad, Niger, Benin Republic and Central Aftrica, are trooping in to mop up the little food, signalling total famine in the area if not urgently addressed by stockpiling the silos “.

But  Ademorin, in his remarks, wrote off the silos by putting it to the minister that most of the silos built by President Jonathan’s administration are alleged to be concessions for N20 million each.

The minister, however, in his response, assured the lawmakers that all issues raised would be decisively addressed in the 2024 fiscal year.

Kyari said food security is the number one out of the 8- 8-point agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and that the ministry has repositioned itself for actualisation of the agenda.

According to him, some of the action plans already being implemented to ensure food security in the country aside from securing the farmlands by security agencies are “certification of available planting materials for some food security crops in readiness for dry season farming.

“Reviewing the mechanisms and processes for delivering fertilizers and agro-pesticides input to farmers under a transparent and accountable regime.

“Fast-tract the take off and operations of the National Agricultural Development fund.

“Implement  a joint action  plan with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to unlock the huge irrigation potentials of the River Basin Development Authorities and other flood plains in the country to guarantee all-year-round food production etc.”

Earlier in his submission, he told the committee members that for the 2024 fiscal year, a total of N362.940 billion was earmarked for the sector out of which N124.1 billion is for the Ministry.

The breakdown of the N124.1billion according to him, shows that N10.6billion is for personnel cost, N1.34 billion for overhead and N112.497 billion for capital expenditure.

 

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