Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the road to effective development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria is long and arduous, but that it is a task that must be accomplished.
Speaking today, September 10 at a food security summit in Abuja, Professor Gambari said: “agriculture is a major priority for this administration and the crucial driver for the development of the nation. Therefore, the growth of the sector leaves no room for complacency.
“There is still a long arduous road to go before achieving those goals. However with determination, coordination and hard work, we have the capacity and will therefore, demonstrate the wherewithal to our exceed our expectation.”
The Chief of Staff, who noted that the recent surge of national food prices is gradually evolving to a food crisis with the ability to threaten the nation’s food security, expressed happiness that reports reaching him indicated that prices are actually on the decline as new grains have been introduced to the market.
“For example, new maize which was previously sold for N25,000 per bag is now being sold between N12,000 and N17,000 and it’s expected to fall between N7,000 and N8,000 per bad by November 2020, according to the various leaders of agricultural commodity association.
“The price decline has also been experienced in millet, beans and sorghum. The hike therefore is to be seen as a transient situation.
“With Mr. President being among us, as somebody who knows about farming and agriculture, perhaps more than many of us in the room, we believe his presence is very instructive in addressing not just this hike and transient nature and pricing of foodstuff but also to underscore the importance he personally and as Mr. President and his administration, attaches to the issue of national food security.
“However, it is important to note that the most prevailing concern of the various leaders of the agricultural commodity association, was their demand that there should be better coordination, synergy and cooperation across the sector. This has been largely accounted for the gross misinformation and nationwide speculation which is being experienced.
“Not disregarding the impact of other value triggers such as the clinical off season period phenomenon, the COVID-19 pandemic and infrastructure challenges, the importance of collaboration can still not be overemphasized.
“As I welcome all participants to this crucial gathering, I urge that we all work hand in hand to ensure the protection of our nation’s food basket.”