Worried by the upsurge in prices of food items in the country, the federal government has set up a task force to look into ways it could intervene and bring succour to the people.
The taskforce has one week to submits it report which will be at the next Federal Executive Council meeting.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who briefed newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
The FEC also approved a memo for the procurement of more coaches for the Nigerian Railways to improve rail transportation.
Mohammed who said Council considered several memos and approvals were given.
“The major highlight council resolved to set up task force on food security. Government is quite concern about the rising cut of food items and the fact that more often than not even when these products are available if it does reach the market there are sold at very exorbitant prices.
“So, the government has set up task force on food security to ensure that an end is put to the wastages that occur and with tons and tons of produce sitting down in the farms rotting or in the markets getting rotten.
“It’s an inter-ministerial committee made up of the ministers of agriculture, finance, water resources, transportation.
“The important thing is to look at what areas of intervention can the government make. The intervention can be in the area of subsidy in transportation. That is being worked out but this goes to show that government is very much concerned the rising cost of food price and we are responding to it.
“The committee hopefully is expected to report back to council next week and concrete actions would be taken. Clearly government is concern and is trying to do something to bring it down”.
Members of the task force, Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Industry, Trade Development, Dr. Okey Enelamah, Minister of Transportation, Honorable Rotimi Amaechi, Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.
The Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs), would also be on the Task Force.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Hadi Sirika on his part said, Council approved two memos from his ministry, one was the procurement of coaches for the standard rail Guage for Abuja-Kaduna rail, to boost movement of passengers as well as gooads ahead of the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
The second was the approval joint briefing offices in all 21 federal government airports across the country.
Sirika said, “two memoranda was approved in the ministry of transport. One is the procurement of coaches two first class coaches, two are for baggage and six for long distance economy class coaches, to improve upon this Kaduna airport project.
“This is to boost rail transportation on the Abuja Kaduna standard gauge railway to improve on movement of passengers and goods and also following the impending closure of the Abuja airport.
“This to also compliment the other airport we are doing in Kaduna. This is to increase our capacity to handle passengers during this airport closure.
Then the second memo was approved on joint briefing offices in all 21 federal government airports across the country.
The offices are in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ilorin, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Jos, Yola, Calabar, Enugu, Owerri, Kaduna, Benin, Osubi-Warri, Katinsa, Zaira, Minna, Bauchi, Ibadan and Akure
“And of course three aerodrums namely Bonny, Excravos and Eket. These joint briefing offices will include the air automation and would co-locate the track-up projects, the total radar coverage, the air automation system, which include the air automation system and the pilot briefing offices.
“There are prefabricated because during the remodeling exercise of those airports there were tempered with so we thought we should just co-locate them in one area for efficiency