food prices skyrocketing beyond the reach of most Nigerians, the
Federal Government is already finalising strategies to reign the trend
and bring succour to Nigerians in the next few months.
President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo gave this indication at an interactive
forum with federal public servants on grade level 8-14 convened to
intimate them on the Executive Orders recently issued on the Ease of
Doing Business Initiative in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him,
government is aware that locally produced food items particularly rice
is more expensive that the imported brands but disclosed that
governments of rice exporting countries were deliberately subsidizing
their farmers to make those products cheaper than Nigerian produced
“Its worrisome that locally produced rice is still expensive
than imported rice from India, China and Thailand. Rice produced in
these countries, are subsidized by their respective governments making
rice from the region cheap and affordable.
“They do this
deliberately because they know that by subsiding rice production for
their farmers, more jobs are created. And that is what we should also be
conscious of: that each time we consume imported rice, we export jobs.
are planning to introduce some kinds of assistance to our farmers in
due course. Our rice will have to compete with any rice in the world.
We will hold meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture every day.”
then gave the assurance that Federal Government is presently finalising
arrangements that will give assistance to Nigerians farmers and that
such efforts would become glaring in the next few months when prices
begin to fall.
Osinbajo urged public officers to develop the
spirit of patriotism that will propel them to make it easy for
businesses to commence and by so doing create wealth and jobs.
every country where it has been done, it is the collective will of the
people that made it possible. Every time that an officer, whether in the
executive, legislature or judiciary puts forward what he could do
today, he has prevented some businesses from commencing and therefore
pushed forward jobs from being created.
“If civil servants change
for better and do what is supposed of them, our country will change for
better. Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing your son/daughter not
doing anything years after graduating. Already government is committing
over 70% of her resources on overheads. So the power house of any
economy is the private sector who create the jobs”, he added.
the forum where public officials raised questions on how the Executive
Orders would work, suggestions were also made on the need to light up
Nigeria for industries to grow.
Responding to an enquiry on
electricity, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
disclosed that 350 of the about 900 containers loaded with electricity
equipment trapped at the ports for many years have now been cleared.
This he said was made possible through budgetary provisions for such clearance in the 2016 and now 2017 budgets.
said his ministry had developed power service recovery program, which
is a combination of policy and enforcement to make business of power
supply more efficient.
Earlier, Minister of Industry, Trade and
Investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah in a presentation tilted “Promotion of
Transparency and Efficiency in Business Environment” had told the
audience that government is striving to make Nigeria more business
friendly because of its quest to become Africa’s leading economy.