Tinubu asks state govs to prioritise food security

…Okays immediate rollout of National Construction & Household Support Programme


President Bola Tinubu, to boost agricultural productivity, strengthen the economy by creating opportunities in the real sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, and construction, as well as provide urgent economic relief for Nigerians, has approved the immediate rollout of the National Construction and Household Support Programme to cover all geo-political zones in the country.

According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale in Abuja on Thursday, “Under the programme, the Sokoto-Badagry Highway, which will traverse Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos, is prioritized.

“Other road infrastructure projects, such as the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, which is underway, and the Trans-Saharan Highway, which links Enugu, Abakaliki, Ogoja, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Abuja, are also prioritized.

“The President has also approved full counterpart financing for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Railway; to traverse Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno, as well as for the Ibadan-Abuja segment of the Lagos-Kano Standard-Gauge Railway; which will traverse Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano.

“The Sokoto-Badagry road project is specially prioritized for its importance as some of the states it will traverse are strategic to the agricultural sustainability of the nation.

“Within the Sokoto-Badagry Highway corridor, there are 216 agricultural communities, 58 large and medium dams spread across six states, seven Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, SAPZs, 156 local government areas, 39 commercial cities and towns, and over 1 million hectares of arable land.

“In addition, other items under the National Construction and Household Support Programme include:

*One-off allocation to states and the Federal Capital Territory of N10 billion for the procurement of buses and CNG uplift programme.

*Delivery of N50,000 uplift grant each to 100,000 families per state for three months.

*Provision for labour unions and civil society organisations.

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*Deployment of N155 billion for the purchase and sale of assorted foodstuff to be distributed across the nation.

Speaking during the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting on Thursday in Abuja, President Tinubu urged state governors to work together to meet the needs of citizens, stating that he is willing to provide the needed support to ensure that Nigerians are relieved of hardship.

Emphasizing the urgency of boosting food production, the President noted that the Sokoto-Badagry Highway is a pivotal project as the states within this axis form the food belt of the nation, and with Badagry being an important artery for food export.

“Our states must work together to deliver on the critical reforms required of us to meet the needs of our people. Time is humanity’s most precious asset. You can never have enough of it. It is getting late.

“We are ready and able to support you in the form of the mechanization of your agricultural processes and the provision of high-quality seedlings.

“We are prepared to provide solar powered irrigation facilities to support our farmers across seasons, but we must now produce. We must produce the food our people eat, and it will require coordination and intentionality between members of the National Economic Council (NEC).

“There is nothing we are doing that is more important than producing high-quality food for our people to consume, buy, and sell. We create jobs in the production of it. And that is before we generate wealth by exporting the excess. It is not beyond us to achieve this for Nigerians.

“How much support do you need from me and in what form? I am prepared to provide it. But we must achieve the result. We must deliver on our targets at all levels. Please report back following your consultations and submit to my office within seven days,” President Tinubu said.

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