FG presents 1,437 metric tonnes food commodities to Niger government

The Federal Government, on Wednesday presented 1,437 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities to Niger government for distribution to vulnerable persons in the state.

Hajiya Zubaida Umar, Director General (D-G), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), stated this during the presentation of the items to Governor Umaru Bago, at the Government House, Minna.

Umar said that the gesture was part of Federal Government’s efforts to cushion the effects of the high cost of food items in the country.

“In fulfilment of his promise to reduce the impact of the current economic down-turn being experienced in the country in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda, Mr President approved the release of 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities from the National Strategic Reserve.

“The assorted food commodities include maize, millet, sorghum and garri.

“After sharing the commodities and successfully transporting the quantity allocated to Niger state, today we are here to hand over the food items to the state government for distribution to the identified deserving beneficiaries in the communities, through the constituted committees in each local government area (LGA).

“It is worthy of note that based on the allocation table, Niger State has been allocated; 550 metric tonnes of maize (11,000 bags of 50kg), 650 metric tonnes of sorghum (13,000 bags of 50 kg) and 237 metric tonnes of millet (4,750 bags of 50kg),” she explained.

The D-G explained that based on the directive of the Federal Government, 20 per cent of the food items due for each LGA would be given to religious organisations and three per cent to be given to boarding schools in the area.

The NEMA boss used the opportunity to alert the state Governor on the 2024 seasonal climate prediction and the annual flood outlook, and urged the state to be prepared.

She said that the predictions indicated that in April, May and June, 25 states and 72 LGAs were flood high-risk areas, indicating heightened vulnerability to flooding.

Umar said that the vulnerability would persist into the subsequent months of July to September, with 33 states and 135 LGAs identified as high-risk areas, while the period between October and November had 19 states and 44 LGAs.

She said: “This year, the probable flood risk areas in Niger State are Agwara, Bida, Magama, Muya, Agaie, Shiroro, Bosso, Kontagora, Gurara, Chanchaga, Rafi and Lavun local government areas.

“In view of the foregoing, I wish to request the state government to kindly take proactive and necessary measures in addressing these issues,” she said.

Responding, Bago directed the committee in charge of the distribution of the food items and the security agencies to ensure that the identified vulnerable persons got the commodities.

The governor said that no beneficiary was to pay for the food items.

He promised that the state government would soon set up a committee to tackle the issue of flooding this year.

Also speaking, Mrs Habiba Garba, the Women Leader, Polio Affected Persons in the state, said that members of the group received one bag of maize, millet and sorghum each.

Garba, who thanked the Federal Government for the gesture, said that the association would ensure that the items get to their members.

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