Nigerians are hungry – APC chieftain tells Tinubu

Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to urgently address the issue of high cost of food items in the country.

Oyintiloye in a chat with newsmen on Sunday in Osogbo, said that Nigerians were hungry and living below the poverty line.

The APC chieftain said that scores of Nigerians were disillusioned wondering where the next meal will come from due to the extreme economic hardship.

Oyintiloye also urged the president not to ignore the United Nations’ prediction that 82 million Nigerians, which is about 64 per cent of the country’s population, may go hungry by 2030.

He said that the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) data revealed that the food inflation rate in the country hit a record high of 40.66 per cent in May, surpassing the previous month’s of 40.53 increase.

Oyintiloye, a former member of the defunct APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), said the common household food items were getting out of the reach of the common man due to the hike in prices.

The APC chieftain noted that despite the Nigerians working hard under different dehumanising working conditions, what they were earning was still not enough to support themselves and their families due to inflation.

According to him, despite the abundance in natural and human resources the country is blessed with, successive governments failed to drive the economy productively.

He said corruption and over dependency on the system of sharing crude oil revenue by the tiers of government was hindering them from running a productive and self-sufficient economy for the benefit of the masses.

Oyintiloye, a former lawmaker, who noted that there was no doubt that the president was doing everything possible to salvage the situation through various intervention programmes, said that the impacts of such interventions were far from ameliorating the situation.

He said prices of basic households, some food items such as rice, beans, garri, spaghetti, and host others were on a very high side and becoming unaffordable by the masses.

Oyintiloye noted that it was rather unfortunate that with all the efforts of the president, prices of food and other essentials had continued to be on the increase.

“I will want to urge the president to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on hunger, starvation and poverty in the country.

“Hunger is a threat to national peace, and that is why the president must act very fast,” he said.

Oyintiloye also said that there was a need for the government to put in place the price control mechanism to checkmate the sharp practices by the traders in the market.

He said many of the traders were taking undue advantage of the economy to exploit buyers, adding that there was an urgent need to check their excesses.

Oyintiloye, however, urged the president to consider the reopening of the Benin Republic border for the importation of food to solve the problem of food crisis in the country.

He said the challenge of insecurity preventing farmers from going to their farms should be addressed, while subsidised farm inputs be given to them and good incentives be made available to agriculture to attract the younger ones.

Oyintiloye urged Nigerians to continue to support the president, adding that with all the various ongoing economic intervention programmes, the country would rise again.

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