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Nigerian Government Blames #EndSARS Protests, Banditry For Hike In Food Prices

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The Nigerian federal government and state governors on Thursday resolved to put measures in place to address the hike in food prices across the country.

The resolution was made at a virtual meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Punch reports.

The council, which is chaired by the Vice President, has all state governors and relevant ministers as members.

According to Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, the resolution was made after a presentation by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari.

Akande said from the presentation, the council noted that food prices had changed between September and November involving commodities in Lagos and a few randomly selected states.

He said the council also identified “causes of the hike in food prices to include delay in going out to the farm, which translates to delay in harvesting courtesy of COVID19 pandemic; EndSARS protest stalled food transportation and delivery and in some instances destroyed food stores; banditry in the North West effectively preventing farmers from harvesting fields cultivated; farmers/herders conflict destroyed farm produce in some states, and increased cost of transportation”.

On resolution, Akande said, “States and the federal government were urged to adopt urgent measures including social protection schemes to deal with the situation.

“The federal government will also pursue the implementation of its ESP -Agric plan and others to improve the situation in the sector positively.”

Akande said the council also received a presentation from the Federal Road Safety Commission on the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030.

He said the strategy was an update to the maiden road safety strategy (NRSS: 2014 – 2018) developed in 2013 in response to a call for global action on roads.

Akande said the council also received a report on COVID-19 from the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

He added that the 2020 Finance Bill that was approved by the Federal Executive Council was presented to NEC.

He also said the council was briefed on ongoing engagements with youths in states.

“Council resolved that the planned zonal engagements should proceed with the focus on youths and Civil Society Organisations dealing especially with issues or jobs, and employment.

“Similarly, the states level interactions should proceed in places where this has not been reported,” he added.

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