Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has set up a task force to work out a way of reducing the prices of foodstuff in the country.
On the task force are Kemi Adeosun, finance minister; Chibuike Amaechi, transport minister; Audu Ogbeh, agriculture minister; Chris Ngige, labour and employment minster; Okey Enelamah, trade and industry minister, and Suleiman Adamu, water resources minister.
The team was given seven days to present a plan of how to reduce the cost of food.
According to Laolu Akande, senior special assistant on media to the vice-president, Osinbajo put together the team because he was moved by the need to make food affordable to Nigerians.
“Moved by the need to enhance affordability of food prices across country, the Buhari administration has constituted a presidential task force to urgently consider measures that would ensure a steady flow of produce to the market and reverse recent price increases,” he said.
“Giving the directive today at the federal executive council meeting, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, expressed concern at some of the inflationary rates of food prices, noting that the task force will explore options to promote availability and affordability of food items to Nigerians.
“According to him, the task force, which has seven days from today to report back to the council will consider how to remove some of the cost-raising factors that come into play between the farms and the markets and therefore bring relief to our people.
“While there have been reports of bumper harvests in parts of the country, the prices of foodstuff still end up rather high, while some of the produce even end up wasted due to a number of reasons preventing effective transportation delivery to the markets.”
Akande said one of the focus areas of the task force – as directed by Osinbajo – would be the review of the transportation and preservation processes.
“The task force, which would be meeting with the acting president in the discharge of its urgent assignment, will therefore draw out a practical plan and present same to the council next week,” he added.
“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.”