Senate advocates introduction of food stamps to tackle hunger in Nigeria - Ripples Nigeria
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Senate advocates introduction of food stamps to tackle hunger in Nigeria



The Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to introduce food stamps programme as a temporary solution to current hardship in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume and co-sponsored by other lawmakers, including the Senator from Kwara Central, Saliu Mustapha, at the plenary in Abuja.

Food stamps are a federal government-sponsored programme in the United States that provides purchasing assistance for low- and no-income people to help them maintain adequate nutrition and health.

Ndume, who led the debate on the motion, said the Cadre Harmonizé Analysis on Food Insecurity launched in October 2023 projected that Nigeria would record about 26.5 million people grappling with high levels of food insecurity this year.

He pointed out that many hungry and angry Nigerians have been expressing their frustration over the recent increase in food prices by demonstrating on the streets in several cities across the country.

The senator said: “The reason for the above projection is not far-fetched, as several indicators, which include but are not limited to the ongoing conflicts across the country, climate change impacts, escalating inflation as witnessed in recent time, and rising costs of both food and essential non-food commodities, due to fall in value of Naira in exchange market.

READ ALSO: Hardship: Presidency claims efforts to ramp up food supply ongoing

“In other countries, like the United States of America, Food Stamps, which are government-issued coupons that are given to low-income and non-income persons and are redeemable for food, have been used since 1933 to date as a measure to cushion the resultant hardships and sufferings on the poor/less privileged as well as low-income earners.

“The clamour for wage increase and work support cannot alone guarantee a more effective way of addressing food insecurity without the introduction of time-tested public assistance programme, as contemplated by this motion with particular emphasis on the need for immediate food support across the country.”

In his contribution, the senator from Kwara North, Sadiq Umar called for the implementation of the programme.

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau Jibrin, who presided over the plenary, corroborated the opinion of his colleagues.

He stressed that address the current hardship in Nigeria if implemented.

Jibrin urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to liaise with development partners and other relevant stakeholders especially the Lagos Food Bank Initiative which introduced the Temporary Food Assistance Programme (TEFAP) a few years ago on the recommendation.

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