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Tinubu tasks governors on food security, orders disbursement of N155bn for foodstuff purchase nationwide

President Bola Tinubu has urged state governors to work together to meet the needs of citizens, stating that he is willing to provide the needed support to ensure that Nigerians are relieved of hardship.

President Tinubu also ordered the deployment of N155 billion for the purchase and sale of assorted foodstuffs to be distributed across the nation

The president, who spoke during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja, emphasised the urgency of boosting food production in the country.

He said the nation must boost agricultural productivity, strengthen the economy by creating opportunities in the real sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, and construction, as well as provide urgent economic relief for Nigerians.

Tinubu said that the Sokoto-Badagry Highway was a pivotal project as the states within the axis formed the food belt of the nation, and with Badagry being an important artery for food export.

“Our states must work together to deliver on the critical reforms required of us to meet the needs of our people. Time is humanity’s most precious asset. You can never have enough of it. It is getting late.

“We are ready and able to support you in the form of the mechanisation of your agricultural processes and the provision of high-quality seedlings.

“We are prepared to provide solar powered irrigation facilities to support our farmers across seasons, but we must now produce,” he said.

The president added that states must produce enough food for people to eat, and that this would require coordination and intentionality between members of the NEC.

“There is nothing we are doing that is more important than producing high-quality food for our people to consume, buy and sell.

“We create jobs in the production of it. And that is before we generate wealth by exporting the excess. It is not beyond us to achieve this for Nigerians.

“How much support do you need from me and in what form? I am prepared to provide it. But we must achieve the result. We must deliver on our targets at all levels.

“Please report back following your consultations and submit to my office within seven days,” Tinubu said.

The president approved the immediate rollout of the National Construction and Household Support Programme to cover all geo-political zones in the country.

He said under the programme, the Sokoto-Badagry Highway, which would traverse Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos, was prioritised.

Tinubu said other road infrastructure projects such as the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, which is underway, and the Trans-Saharan Highway, which links Enugu, Abakaliki, Ogoja, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Abuja, would also be prioritised.

The president also approved full counterpart financing for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Railway; to traverse Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno.

He also approved the Ibadan-Abuja segment of the Lagos-Kano Standard-Gauge Railway; which would traverse Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano.

Tinubu said, “The Sokoto-Badagry road project is specially prioritised for its importance as some of the states it will traverse are strategic to the agricultural sustainability of the nation.

“Within the Sokoto-Badagry Highway corridor, there are 216 agricultural communities, 58 large and medium dams spread across six states, seven Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs), 156 local government areas, 39 commercial cities and towns, and over 1 million hectares of arable land.

“In addition, other items under the National Construction and Household Support Programme include one-off allocation to states and the Federal Capital Territory of N10 billion for the procurement of buses and CNG uplift programme.

”Others are: delivery of N50,000 uplift grant each to 100,000 families per state for three months, provision for labour unions and civil society organisations and deployment of N155 billion for the purchase and sale of assorted foodstuffs to be distributed across the nation.

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