Thursday, April 18, 2024

Give Low-earners Food Stamps -Senate to FG 

As part of the measures to cushion the current economic hardship in the country, the Senate have asked the Federal Government to distribute food stamps to poor Nigerians.

A food stamp is a piece of paper given by the government to people on low income, which they can exchange for food

The Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to liaise with development partners and other relevant stakeholders, especially the Lagos Food Bank Initiative, which introduced Temporary Food Assistance Programme, a few years ago.

The resolution on the food stamps followed a motion sponsored by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) and co-sponsored by Senator Saliu Mustapha (APC,  Kwara Central) as well as the majority of other lawmakers during Tuesday’s plenary.

Ndume recalled that the October 2023 Cadre Harmonisé Analysis on food insecurity projected that in 2024, 26.5 million Nigerians will grapple with high levels of food insecurity.

He said, “The reason for the above projection is not far-fetched, as shown by  several indicators, which include but are not limited to the ongoing conflicts across the country, climate change impacts, escalating inflation as witnessed in recent times, and rising costs of both food and essential non-food commodities, due to the fall in the value of naira in the exchange market.”

He expressed worry that many hungry and angry Nigerians had been voicing their frustration and anger over the recent increase in food prices.

Read Also: FG Starts Strategic Health Budget Alignment With States

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South), said there was no better time for the motion than now, adding that identifying vulnerable people in his constituency had always been a problem but that the food stamps would help.

On his part, Senator Sadiq Umar (APC Kwara North), said the executive should ensure that only those who need the food get it insisting the programme needs to start immediately.

“Structures are grown to help in the distribution of the food stamps,” he said.

Also, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Ogun West), said despite sharing money with the vulnerable, the food stamps would be even more important.

Another lawmaker, Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East) said it is an important motion as it would help the country achieve food security.

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Jibrin Barau, who presided over plenary, also agreed that the programme, if implemented, would help assuage the sufferings of Nigerians.

He said, “The Senate is open to acting on issues that will help all Nigerians. So, the entire Senate commends Ndume for this motion.”

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