‘42,000 Metric Tonnes Of Maize A Drop In River’, Economist Tackles FG


Kelvin Emmanuel, an economist, has downplayed the government’s recent release of 42,000 metric tonnes of maize to address food shortages, calling it a “drop in the river” compared to Nigeria’s massive consumption needs.

Emmanuel highlighted the significant gap between supply and demand, noting that Nigeria consumes roughly 11 million tonnes of rice and 22 million tonnes of maize annually.

As a quick response to the nation’s growing food crisis and the rising cost of commodities, President Bola Tinubu had on Thursday ordered the immediate release of more than 102,000 metric tons of various grain types from the National Food Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria.

But discussing on the development on Channels TV on Friday, Emmanuel emphasized that the released quantity falls far short of addressing the existing shortfall.

He said, “I doubt, it would not, because Nigeria consumes about 11 million metric tonnes of rice per year and consumes about 22 million metric tonnes of maize.

“So releasing 40,000 metric tonnes of maize is not in any way going move to the need at all.

“I heard the minister saying that the government might import food and the question I immediately want to was at what exchange rate are you going to import food, is it going to be better than what you currently have, I doubt it.”

Instead of temporary measures, Emmanuel urged the government to implement long-term solutions, “so we need irrigation, the minister of agriculture needs to provide a model for building irrigation fosters around Nigeria so you can have all-season farming and not reply on wet season, you need to build irrigation clusters, you need to find a solution to the cost of diesel.

“So releasing 40,000 metric tonnes of maize is not in any way, for a start I think they release a million metrics tonnes of maize then we start talking but 40,000 is just like a drop in a river.”

Mike Ojo

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