Exportation of Rotten Yams is a big minus to Agricultural Export Promotion – Sen. Adamu
FG should be blamed for Hunger, Food Crisis and Increase in Prices
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has called for the arrest and prosecution of the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, and other individuals who were indicted in the recent export of rotten yams from Nigeria to the United States of America.
The Senator also blamed the Federal Government for the rising food crisis in the country.
The former Nasarawa State Governor blamed the inability of the Federal Government to make appropriate provisions for its citizens as the major reason for the food crisis.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja during the weekend, Adamu called for the arrest of Ogbeh and others over the exportation of rotten yams to the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe. He also said since the Government could not set targets in terms of agricultural production and consumption, thus there is an increase in the level of hunger and food insecurity.
He said: “The Minister and other officials of government and individuals linked to the export should be arrested and prosecuted immediately.
“The incidence is a huge minus to government’s effort at export promotion for agricultural goods.”
“We are not producing enough food because what we produce at the moment is not really planned. It is not planned in the sense that at a point in time we talk of estimates, the estimates that are not really realistic and authentic.
“For instance, we are proud to beat our chest that we are the biggest yam producer in the world but how much are we producing? Tell anybody how much yam is produced in Benue State, how much in Kogi State, Taraba or in Niger States or in Oyo, Edo states. You are talking of cassava how much cassava is produced. How much is produced in Ogun or Lagos States? Sokoto or in Kwara States. How much cassava is produced in each of the states, what is the quantum produced in Nigeria? What is the target that government has set out for this production? And ditto sorghum, maize, orange, pineapple, mango.
“We don’t have any set national target. I believe very strongly that as a country to set targets and it is not impossible.”
The lawmaker called on the Executive to wake up to its responsibilities as was done in other developed countries.
“They do it in other parts of the world why can’t we do it here. Sit down, what is our population by the way that we believe this is the true population of Nigeria and the margin we have between the real and apparent of Nigerian and what are the common food items or staple food items. How much of it are we producing and what do we need to produce. How much of it do we need to produce to go into our local industries for processing and how much of it being the excess that we can afford to export. We don’t have the statistics,” he said.