The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has debunked the position of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, that Nigeria may witness famine from early next year.
Malam Shehu had in a recent radio interview in Kano warned that Nigeria, one of the largest producers of cereals is in danger of witnessing famine from early next year following huge demand in the global market.
Shehu had said that the demand of grains from Nigeria in the global market was generating an “excellent environment for the mindless exports of Nigeria’s food across the borders’’ and warned that unless it was curtailed, that the Nigerian markets would be bereft of grains by January.
But Ogbeh, on Tuesday assured that the Federal Government has put needed measures in place to forestall hunger and famine in the country.
“There will be no hunger. It is just that there is heavy export of our grains to North, West and Central Africa. However, we are taking steps to ensure enough food in the next harvest,” Ogbeh said.
According to the minister, the Federal Government is unrelentingly working to develop and establish more dams and lakes to aid irrigation farming and to have three harvests within one year. He added that the government had provided no fewer than 33 silos with capacity to store over four million tonnes of grains as a measure to preserve excess grains.
Critics are increasingly beginning to perceive Nigerian public officials as masters of double speak and see Ogbeh’s reaction as a desperate response to a major communication blunder by the presidency spokesman.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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