In a crucial meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, convened with National Security Adviser (NSA) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, key ministers, and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso, to deliberate on the pressing issues of food security and the recent protests erupting in some states.
The assembly, which kicked off at around 5:30 pm yesterday, was a strategic response to the growing concerns over the cost of living protests in Niger and Kano states.
The gathering witnessed the participation of Ministers of Education, Dr. Tahir Mamman; Finance, Wale Edun; Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu; Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari; and State for Agriculture, Sabi Abdullahi.
The meeting came against the backdrop of a political dispute, with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) accusing opposition parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), of instigating anti-government protests.
The opposition, in turn, criticized the APC for what they describe as a failure to address the economic hardships facing the nation, which they argue has led to the demonstrations.
Following the meeting, which lasted approximately three hours, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, briefed State House correspondents.
He relayed President Tinubu’s deep concerns over the situation and announced the President’s directive for the Presidential Committee to take decisive steps to alleviate the hardships experienced by the Nigerian populace.
Minister Idris reassured the public that the country has adequate food supplies but acknowledged that certain individuals are exploiting the situation of high food prices and the depreciation of the naira for their benefit.
He said, “We just rounded off a meeting. It is a special presidential committee to address the issue of food shortage or lack of enough food on the table of most Nigerians.
“This is just the beginning of that meeting. It is going to continue tomorrow and day after tomorrow. The government is very concerned about what Nigerians are going through, especially what has happened in Minna yesterday, and therefore government is taking some action to ensure that Nigerians have some relief in terms of the availability of food on the table.
“Of course, this meeting is not by itself exhaustive. It’s just like I said, the beginning. It is going to continue tomorrow and the day after.
“Now, some of these will involve unlocking the foods that are available in most of the storage facilities (National Food Reserve) around the country. You know that the Federal Minister of Agriculture has some food reserves. That is going to be made available to Nigerians.”