ABUJA – The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), yesterday tasked President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to produce empirical evidence or data to support the claim on the nation’s attainment of food security.
Barr. Ken Ukaoha, the President of NANTS stated this position in an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Abuja.
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Ukaoha admitted that the nation’s food import bill had largely reduced as domestic food production had increased.
However, he pointed out that the incessant crises between herdsmen and farmers, insurgency in the North East, kidnapping and banditry, would have impacted negatively on nation’s food productivity.
He said: “My take on this as whether Nigeria has attained food security or not. I do not have any empirical evidence. I am sure that nobody has conducted study on that. Notwithstanding, we believe that Nigeria has made some progress.
“The food import bill has reduced tremendously; it tells you that food production has increased domestically. In terms of food production, there is an increase quite alright.
“However, we need to conduct some evidence-based study and assessment to know the volume and impact of local food production and the value it has added to the economy in the last four years.
NANTS President further commended Nigerians for embracing locally produced food, which he described as sweeter as and healthier than imported food items.
On the directive of President Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop issuing foreign exchange to food importers, Ukaoha lauded the decision, adding that it would boost domestic food production and create employment for Nigerians.
“The result of this directive is that it will open up investments in the country, knowing that there is money in the sector,” he asserted.
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