50 Niger Republic-bound Food Trucks Intercepted In Zamfara

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FOOD SUPPLY

50 Niger Republic-bound Food Trucks Intercepted In Zamfara

 

Fifty trucks conveying foodstuffs out of the country to the Niger Republic were intercepted on Monday by the Zamfara State Transport Agency.

 The agency, which was enforcing a presidential directive meant to arrest the food crisis and hoarding, grounded the trucks loaded with assorted grains.

President Bola Tinubu last Thursday ordered the trio of the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to collaborate with state governors and go after those hoarding foodstuff.

The decision was taken during the President’s meeting with the governors in Abuja on the current food crisis triggered by the hikes in transportation costs after the fuel subsidy removal and the inability of farmers to harvest their crops because of bandits and kidnappers.

On Sunday, the Nigeria Customs Service said it stopped 15 trailers conveying foodstuff through the Sokoto borders to Niger Republic,

Also, the Kano State Government sealed 10 warehouses said to be hoarding food items.

Confirming the interception of the 50 trucks in Zamfara, Shehu Sani, an indigene of Zurmi town in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state, told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Monday that the vehicles were stopped at Gidan Jaja village, close to the Nigerian borders with Niger Republic.

Commenting on the smuggling of food items out of the country, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria blamed wholesalers.

He said wholesalers were purchasing large quantities of food from local farmers and clandestinely taking these products to countries such as Niger, Cameroon, and others.

The Vice Chairman of AFAN, Lagos State chapter, Shakin Agbayewa, in an interview, said the practice not only deprived the local market of essential food supplies but also undermined the efforts of Nigerian farmers.

Agbayewa alleged that wholesalers, driven by greed were disrupting the domestic food supply chain and negatively impacting the livelihoods of farmers across the nation.

He accused them of creating artificial demand in the market while simultaneously sabotaging the economy.

He stated, “So, what these people do is to buy farm produce from us in large quantities, store them in a warehouse, and ship them outside the country. They usually earn foreign exchange. They make more money going through this route.”

The vice chairman emphasized the need for enhanced oversight and regulatory measures to tackle these exploitative practices and protect the interests of local farmers.

He called upon security agencies to collaborate and ensure thorough investigations into the warehouses where these agricultural products are stored, with the aim of exposing any illicit activities.

The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim lauded the Nigerian Customs Service for recently intercepting trucks of food.

He recommended that smugglers should be prosecuted and be made to serve life imprisonment.