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Presidency raises alarm over imminent famine in 2017

15 November 2016, 06:02

Abuja - The Presidency on Monday raised the alarm over imminent famine in Nigeria from January 2017.

According to a statement made available to journalists, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, raised the alarm in an interview he granted a Kano-based radio station on Monday.

Shehu said despite being Africa’s largest producer of cereals and grains, Nigeria risks famine from early next year following a huge demand in the global market that is targeting the country’s surplus production.

“The huge demand for our grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian grains across our borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of food by January next year,” he said.

The presidential spokesman said the Ministry of Agriculture has advised President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the issue which, if not addressed promptly, could lead to a shortage of grains by January.

Also read: NE Nigeria now 'close' to famine, says MSF

“Over the past year, providence has blessed Nigeria with a bountiful harvest of grains, more than enough to feed the country and to export to other countries.

“At present, there is a high demand for grains from Nigeria, from African countries as distant as Libya and Algeria, and from places as far away as Brazil.

“However, the Ministry of Agriculture has raised concerns about a massive rate of exportation, which could lead to a shortage of grains in Nigeria by January,” he said.

He explained that Nigeria currently enjoys a free market situation.

- News 24

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