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Nigerian farmers oppose food importation, says it will erode gains

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

The National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arc. Kabir Ibrahim has stated that the duty-free importation for food items will lead to the erosion of gains made in local production of maize, rice and wheat.

He disclosed this in a chat with Nairametrics on Tuesday where he stated that the situation with food security today requires some form of trade liberalisation and imports but should not exceed the stipulated 150 days period.

However, he noted that rice importation would be very painful to Nigerians who have invested heavily in rice production and processing.

Furthermore, he called on governments to invest through the provision of subsidies on inputs such as machines, fertilizers and chemicals in order to have a sustainable food system in the country.

He stated, “The gains made in internal sufficiency will certainly be lost in some of the three competencies mentioned viz; rice, maize and wheat

Nigeria and Nigerians have made sizable investments in rice production and processing such that it is going to be very painful if this was done if absolutely necessary. As a matter of fact the wheat and maize issues if properly interrogated are easier to handle because some limited importation has always been there.”

“In order to really have a sustainable food system Nigeria should simply encourage and intensify production, processing, distribution and marketing of competences in which have proven comparative advantage by providing sustainable subsidy to inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals and mechanization.”

“We have no objection to controlled importation within a limited period to cushion the effect of hardship among our citizens but it should not be allowed beyond the agreed period of 5 months or 150 days as well as the agreed quarries of 500,000MT.”

Backstory
Yesterday, the federal government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security announced plans to begin duty-free importation of select food commodities such as rice, maize and wheat to increase food supply to Nigerians and replenish the strategic grain reserve of the government.

Furthermore, the federal government will engage stakeholders to establish a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) for commodities. They will also ramp up production, particularly among smallholder farmers, in the 2024/2025 farming season and promote the production of fortified food commodities, among other initiatives.

Nigeria is facing one of the worst food crises in a generation, with food inflation surpassing 40% in May 2024. Data from the NBS shows that the prices of staple foods such as rice, maize, wheat, bread, and beans have more than doubled on average over the past year.

Projections from international development organizations, including the World Bank, FAO, and World Food Program (WFP), indicate that around 16% of Nigerians will experience severe hunger in 2024 due to the ongoing food crisis

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Nigerians paid N721bn in cash bribes to govt officials in 2023 – NBS

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians paid a staggering N721 billion in cash bribes to public officials in 2023.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” released on Thursday, July 11, revealed that over 95 percent of these bribes were in monetary form.

According to the report, there has been a decline in Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption efforts during the period under review.

The report stated, “Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N721 billion ($1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.”

The report further revealed that bribes paid in a public official’s office and on the street accounted for approximately 35 percent and 36 percent of all bribes respectively while, 11 percent of bribes were paid in respondents’ own homes, while 7 percent occurred in public buildings such as restaurants, malls, or stations.

The report highlighted that healthcare professionals and public utility officers were the most frequent recipients of bribes, accounting for 30 percent and 24 percent of encounters respectively. Police officers followed closely with a contact rate of 20 percent

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Vice President Trump, President Putin Of Ukraine – Biden Goofs At NATO Summit

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

U.S. President Joe Biden had a series of verbal slip-ups on Thursday alongside the NATO summit in Washington, an unfortunate development for the 81-year-old as he tries to move past concerns that he is too old to run for re-election.

Verbal gaffes are not unusual in the long political career of Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, but there is closer attention on him amid the fallout from his dismal debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump last month.

Trump, who is 78, and also has faced concerns about his age, frequently made false claims during the debate and often rambles during campaign speeches.

Below is a summary of Biden’s mistakes on Thursday.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY CALLS ZELENSKIY ‘PUTIN’

Biden mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “President Putin”.

“And now I want to hand it over to the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination, ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said at the NATO summit, drawing gasps from those in the room.

“Going to beat President Putin, President Zelenskiy. I am so focused on beating Putin,” Biden said while correcting himself.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY REFERS TO HARRIS AS TRUMP
During a news conference on Thursday evening, Biden mixed up the name of his vice president, Kamala Harris, and his rival Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if she was not qualified to be president. So start there,” Biden said as he responded to a question from Reuters about his confidence in Harris.

BIDEN FUMBLES ‘CHIEFS OF STAFF’
Biden also struggled at the news conference to find the words “chiefs of staff,” mistakenly referring to the group of the country’s top uniformed military leaders as “commander in chief,” the title he holds as president.

“And so our military is working on following the advice of my commander in chief my, my, my, the chiefs of staff, of the military as well as the secretary of defense and our intelligence people.”

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