Have Zero Tolerance For Incompetence, Support Local Farmers – Tinubu Tells Govs

  • Wants tough actions against rent seekers, speculators, hoarders

BY EDMOND ODOK – President Bola Tinubu has assured that the Federal Government is focused on engendering home-grown solutions to address the nation’s food security challenges amid the current economic hardship in the country.

To this end, he said his administration will not relent in setting up schemes to support local production and discourage all forms of rent-seeking associated with food importation.

Speaking at a meeting with 36 state governors, which was attended by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the DSS, and some ministers at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, President Tinubu also approved the establishment of a committee comprising state governors and representatives of the federal government to, among other things, explore the modalities for establishing state police.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale further quoted the President as endorsing the training and equipping of forest rangers by sub-national governments to safeguard human and natural resources in local communities.

‘He said; ‘My position at this meeting is that we must move aggressively and establish a committee to look critically at the issues raised, including the possibility of establishing state police. ‘From Kano, we have read reports about large-scale hoarding of food in some warehouses.

“The National Security Adviser (NSA), the Inspector-General of Police, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services should coordinate very closely and ensure that security agencies in the states inspect such warehouses with follow-up action.

”We must ensure that speculators, hoarders, and rent seekers are not allowed to sabotage our efforts in ensuring the wide availability of food to all Nigerians. ‘What I will not do is to set a price control board. I will not also approve the importation of food. We should be able to get ourselves out of the situation we found ourselves in because importation will allow rent seekers to perpetrate fraud and mismanagement at our collective expense.

“We would rather support farmers with the schemes that will make them go to the farm and grow more food for everyone in the country. We must also look at the rapid but thoughtful implementation of our livestock development and management plans, including dairy farming and others’.

Furthermore, the President urged the governors to trust the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the management of the country’s monetary policy, emphasizing the importance of allowing designated institutions to fulfill their mandate effectively.

While noting that the ”cacophony of postulations” on the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates was unduly affecting the market negatively”, he said; ”Every one of us can not be an expert. If we have given someone an assignment, let us allow them to do it. If they can not do it, then we find a way to quickly get them out of the system”.

Also tasking the governors to always make the welfare and prosperity of the people a priority of their development programmes, President Tinubu assured them that the federal government will continue to work diligently to improve the nation’s revenue profile.

Importantly, the President and the governors emphasized the importance of working together to address issues of insecurity, food security, and out-of-school children across the country.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) expressed appreciation to President Tinubu for convening the meeting and affirmed their commitment to partnering closely with the federal government to move the country forward and meet the citizens’ expectations on all fronts.

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