Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture has collaborated with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for seamless lifting exercise of the grains from designated 6 Silos for delivery to Nigerians, as earlier directed by President Buhari for the release of 70,000 Metric Tonnes of assorted food commodities as palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians to help cushion the effect of the lockdown on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breakdown of the 70, 000 MT of the assorted food grains includes Minna with a total of 12, 500 MT; 10,000MT of Maize and 2,500 MT of Garri. Lafia, Nasarawa State has a total of 6, 500 MT; 5,000MT of Millet and 1,500MT of Garri. At Dustin-Ma, Kastina State, a total of 15,000MT; 9,000 MT of Maize and 6,000 MT of Sorghum. In Yola, Adamawa State, a total of 16,500 MT;12,500 MT of Maize and 4,000MT of Sorghum. Gusau in Zamfara State has a total of 18,500 MT; 3,500 MT of Maize and 15,000 MT of Sorghum. While Ilesha, Osun State has a total of 1,000 MT of Garri.
The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono had ealier, in company with his Humanitarian Affairs counterpart, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, visited the Minna Silo complex in Niger State to inspect and officially performed the handing over and taking over of the food commodities.
Nanono said that it was in compliance with Mr President’s directive to cushion the effect of the lockdown as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic and assured Nigerians that the food items were of high quality. The Minister also reiterated, “The logistics for the delivery of the items to vulnerable Nigerians was purely NEMA affairs, ours is to hand over to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs”.
The Silos have continued to be a beehive of activities, following the bagging and lifting of the grains into waiting trucks. The trucks are being escorted from the Silos by armed security personnel and NEMA officials for onward delivery to destinations.
The Ministry will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure food availability and security as Nigeria joins in the global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.