As part of efforts to cushion the effects of food inflation and hunger in the land, the Federal Government, on Wednesday, announced the setting up of a Presidential Task Force to urgently consider measures that would ensure a steady flow of produce to the market to reverse recent price increases.
Addressing members of the Federal Executive Council at its regular meeting in Abuja, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said the Task Force will explore options to promote availability and affordability of food items to Nigerians, expressing concern at the rate of food inflation.
The Task Force, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, has seven days and present its report and will consider how to remove some of the cost-raising factors at play between the farms and the markets and therefore “bring relief to our people.”
One of the focus areas of the Task Force, Osinbajo noted, would be to review the transportation and preservation processes, and see how government can intervene in those aspects to bring down food prices.
While there have been reports of bumper harvests in parts of the country, the prices of food stuff still end up rather high, as one of the produce end up wasted due to a number of reasons preventing effective transportation delivery to the markets.
The Task Force, which whose members include Ministers of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh; Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; Industry, Trade & Development, Dr. Okey Enelamah; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu; as well as Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, is to draw out a practical plan and present same to the Council next week.
The Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, would also be on the Task Force.