Food security: Buhari recounts policies and programmes

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* Launched National Social Investment Programmes

* Launched agricultural programs focusing on import substitution, job creation and rural development

* Launched Chad Basin Commission to halt the shrinking of the lake

* Fostering actions to impact the livelihoods of over 45 million farmers, herdsmen, and fishermen in the LCBC countries

* Issued the first ever green bond that will act as a catalyst for investments in renewable energy and afforestation projects

 

PRESIDENT Muhammed Buhari has recounted the arious policies and programmes being pursied by his administration to boost fod security and reduce food import. He also spoke on a recommendation for the long term Pollution Remediation Projects in the Niger Delta area with the hope of restoring dignity and normalcy has been made.

The President said this while speaking at the inauguration of Food Security Council which he also chair with six states governors, some security chiefs and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and others as members.

Buhari, who spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, used the occasion to enumerate his administration’s achievements in the area of food security since its inception almost three years ago.

“We introduced the National Social Investment Programs targeting millions of Nigerians who are living from hand to mouth. We launched agricultural programs focusing on import substitution, job creation and rural development thereby bringing socio-economic transformation to the millions of citizens living in some of the most remote rural parts of our country,” he said.

He told the gathering that his government has “commenced the long term Pollution Remediation Projects in the Niger Delta with the hope of restoring dignity and normalcy to the millions of Nigerians impacted by decades of pollution in their communities. Fishing and farming will resume once blighted areas are rehabilitated”.

The President did also not fail to remind Nigerians of the government’s involvement in the Chad Basin Commission to halt the shrinking of the lake stressing that “we have intensified our participation in the Lake Chad Basin Commission with the goal of reversing the shrinkage of the lake, which impacts the livelihoods of over 45 million farmers, herdsmen and fishermen in the LCBC countries.”

“We issued the first ever green bond that will act as a catalyst for investments in renewable energy and afforestation projects. This was oversubscribed, sharing market confidence in the country and our Government,” he further stated.

The President disclosed the effort of his government in setting up the Agro Rangers Unit “within the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to protect the billions of Naira of investments recorded in Nigeria’s agricultural sector across the country,” adding that “we continued to equip the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to fight maritime criminals such as pirates and sea robbers who adversely impact offshore and inland fishing activities in our waters”.

He said “these programs and many more, have started yielding results and if sustained, will transform the lives of millions of Nigerians across the country. We are well aware that the full results will not be felt or seen overnight. The journey is long. It is therefore our collective duty to ensure the actual and potential positive impacts of these programs are sustained, improved and expanded”.

A key mandate of the Food Security Council is to continuously assess and enhance these infant, but impactful programs, thereby guaranteeing they achieve their full potential.

 “We shall also develop new programs and projects that will protect and indeed, create more jobs in farming, fisheries, animal husbandry and forestry,” he said adding that “as we all know, land is use for farming, grazing and forestry, Water is used for irrigation, livestock sustenance and fishing. Therefore, any strategy for land and water management must take into account the interconnectivity of all these key sectors to ensure equity and sustainability”.

“We will also not lose sight of the other issues that will impact our food production ambitions such as; Population growth; Urbanisation; Industrialisation; Rural Infrastructure Development and Climate Change,” he maintained.

“These factors will also stress and stretch our land and water resources. This means we must invest in research and development to enhance yields and outputs,” he said.

“Moreover, we are not insulated from Global and Regional events. Accordingly we develop local programs, but not lose sight of events from a far and their impact on us. Specifically, issues such as smuggling and dumping, which is our responsibility to ensure we develop and enforce strategies to protect Nigeria from these illegal and unhealthy import,” Buhari stated further.

 The president then promised “we will also engage key stakeholders representing the core sectors of the Food Value Chain. Regular consultations will be held with investors, development partners, financiers, academia and our friends and allies abroad”.

“Our deliberations will look into all the issues and our decisions will be implementable and impactful. We shall stay focussed, first and foremost on securing our food requirements and employment for our people, especially the youths. We shall feed ourselves and build an inclusive Nigeria for ourselves and for future generations.”