COVID-19: Buhari directs sharing of seized rice by Customs Service to Nigerians

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's president

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who announced this on Monday while fielding questions from journalists at a press conference in Abuja, said the seized trucks of rice have already been handed over to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for onward distributions to Nigerians.

The minister said that the emerging health situation and economic risks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the noticeable decline in international oil prices, posed existential threats to the nation’s economy, healthcare system, security, and more importantly, the lives of the citizens.

The Finance Minister therefore said that extra-ordinary measures would have to be adopted with a view to addressing the challenges frontally.

Mrs Ahmed also said that the President has equally approved the distribution of grains from the Strategic Grain Reserves across the country.

She also said that as part of measures aimed at supporting farmers in the country, President Buhari also approved a reduction N500 in the price of fertilizer per bag thus bringing the price from N5,500 to N5,000 per bag.

According to her, the measure part of the palliatives in form of subsidy for farmers as a result of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Finance further said; “More measures will be taken to provide broader benefits to the citizens. We don’t want to rush and announce measures that will end up benefitting only a few of the segments.

“Our interest is to make sure that as much as possible, a lot of Nigerians are productive and have liquidity in their hands. This will help to increase the consumption thereby assist to improve the economy.

“This is not something we will announce in a hurry without consulting with the central ministry and also without consulting with the key participants in the sector” Ahmed stated.


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