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Buhari blames ‘middlemen’ for high cost of rice in Nigeria

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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the activities of middlemen for  high cost of rice in Nigeria.

Buhari, who stated this in his message to Muslim faithful celebrating the Eid-el-Adha across the country, also blamed the high cost of food on farmlands destruction by flood and insecurity.

He assured Nigerians that his administration was determined to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country where safety of life and property was paramount, noting that he was taking adequate measures towards addressing the nation’s insecurity.


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“Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable price,” he said.

“As an elected president, who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate, let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to our farmers.

“The current insecurity in the country has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.

“Let me also use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we are taking measures to address our security challenges. We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry,” he said.

Buhari, who extolled sacrifices of Nigerians, however, said that taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams was inconsistent with the virtues of Islam.

Although there is a slight decline in the country’s inflation statistics from the figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday, Nigerians, most especially those residing in cities, have continued to fall under the weight of high and unaffordable food prices.

Experts have also agreed with the president in part that insecurity, most especially in the Northern parts of the country, has contributed greatly to high prices of food.

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They have also identified zero infrastructure and climate change as other reasons.

An old 1984 Sunday Herald,  often circulated online, had carried a story of Buhari, then a military head of state, blaming middlemen for poor economy.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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