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Naira Redesign and Insecurity Force Farmers into Bankruptcy – FG

The Federal Government has acknowledged that the naira redesign policy, implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from December 15, 2022, to February of the current year, led to numerous farmers facing bankruptcy across the country.

The initiative to redesign the naira was spearheaded by the former governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele. However, its nationwide implementation was halted by a Supreme Court ruling.

Speaking before the Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Agriculture to defend the ministry’s 2024 budget proposals, Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, emphasized the budget’s primary focus on ensuring food security for the nation. He highlighted that insecurity combined with Emefiele’s cash policy severely impacted food production in the previous year.

Kyari explained, “The cash crunch resulting from the Naira redesign compelled most farmers to sell their produce at significantly reduced prices merely for survival. Buyers faced challenges in accessing cash to purchase their produce, leading to a financial vacuum for the farmers.”

During the committee session, lawmakers expressed grave concerns about escalating hunger and famine, particularly in the North-East region. Honorable Dahiru Haruna (Toro Federal Constituency, Bauchi State) and Honorable Ademorin Kuye (Shomolu Federal Constituency, Lagos State) highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the urgent need to avert famine by replenishing silos.

Responding to concerns about the alleged concessioning of silos built during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the minister assured the lawmakers that the 2024 budget, if approved by the National Assembly, would address these worries. He emphasized that food security remained a top priority on President Bola Tinubu’s 8-Point Agenda.

Among the outlined strategies in the budget for the agricultural sector, valued at N362.940 billion, are plans to review the delivery processes for fertilizers and agro pesticides, expedite the National Agricultural Development Fund’s operations, and collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to harness irrigation potentials across the country for year-round food production.

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