Agricultural Interventions In Tinubu’s N500Bn Suffering Alleviation Plan

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News in brief: Tinubu announced several agriculture interventions, including inputs, grains and funds disbursement to support food crop cultivation and food costs from his ₦500 billion suffering alleviation plan for Nigerians.

Nigeria’s president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country. He made this known in a national broadcast on July 31, 2023, where he addressed the current economic challenges in the country.

The Nigerian president assured citizens that his administration was not deaf to their plight and the harsh realities they have had to live with after the removal of fuel subsidy.

He presented a number of measures to tackle economic challenges head on including a promise to reform the economy to fight the major imbalances and a ₦500 billion injection. These moves he said are expected to ease the burden on Nigerians and cushion their pains across socio-economic brackets.

What is Tinubu agriculture intervention for fuel subsidy removal?

In the area of agriculture, the president disclosed his government’s readiness to work with concerned stakeholders within the food system to ensure food availability and affordability.

He revealed interventions put in place to alleviate the suffering that citizens are experiencing over hike in food prices. Part of these interventions include;

  • The release of 200,000 metric tons of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and the FCT to ensure affordability while also helping to drive down food prices in the market.
  • The provision of 225,000 metric tons of fertiliser, seedlings and other inputs to aid farmers who are committed to the nation’s food security agenda.
  • The disbursement of ₦100 billion for the cultivation of food crops like wheat, cassava, rice and maize.
  • A plan to support cultivation of 500,000 hectares of farmland and all year-round farming practice to ensure food security while taking away the demerits of seasonal farming.
  • Targeting small-holder farmers and leveraging large-scale private sector players in the agricultural business with proven track record.

Tinubu also revealed that he recently approved the Infrastructure Support Fund for states that is meant to enable state governments intervene and invest in critical areas. He hopes that this will improve rural access roads to ease evacuation of farm produce to the market.

A country-wide labour strike could still be coming

The president’s address comes amidst a general outcry against rising food and utility prices, largely occasioned by fuel subsidy removal. He explained that the removal of the fuel subsidy has already saved the nation over a trillion naira in just two months. He assured that the money saved in this regard would be judiciously expended in critical areas of general need.

Despite the reassurances, it seems the country has reached a tipping point as the strain has become unbearable. Is Tinubu’s address a bit too late? Local media sources report that Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are still adamant on their nationwide strike slated for Wednesday, August 2, and are marshalling forces to make it effective.

In a statement, the body which represents working Nigerians, demanded that the government fix local refineries to ease the cost of fuel. It said that the subsidy removal was done without provision of succor, leaving citizens to the whims of the market. It appears that the president’s intervention announcement is not the answer to their request for protection and measure of control over fuel costs.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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