FG blames army, police, customs for high cost of food

Nigeria Customs Service

Ogbeh writes Buratai, Ali, Idris, others
The Federal Government has blamed the rise in the cost of food prices on what he called extortionist practices of men of the Nigerian Police, Army, and Nigerian Customs Services at the nations various checkpoints and ports.

Members of the joint committee on Agriculture were stunned when the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh made the allegation
yesterday during a budget defence session at the National Assembly.

Ogbeh lamented that despite having written formally to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali and other heads of security agencies over their officials’ fraudulent practices, the practice had not stopped.

He enumerated other factors negatively affecting government’s agricultural policies.

According to him, the high cost of diesel, which now sells for N300 per litre is another factor responsible for the skyrocketing prices of food items, explaining that trucks and vehicles transporting farm produce are powered by diesel.

Ogheh further stated that other factors responsible for high prices of food items include the treaty on free movement of goods and services put in place by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) among member states, which he said gives room for movement of not less than 300,000 trucks of grains outside Nigeria on a daily basis, which the ministry cannot check.

The minister however, assured the committee that the Federal Government would soon ensure a reduction in prices of the food items via the committee set up to that effect, but expressed surprise that farmers were already kicking against the move.

According to him, farmers were angry with him over the move because they see the situation on ground as very favourable economically to them.

The minister said one of such farmers tackled him in Katsina recently, urging him not to tamper with the present price of food items by claiming that he made N4 million from the sales of sorghum, which had catapulted him from the realm of poverty to that of affluence.

Another farmer in Anambra state also claimed to have reaped N1 million profit from the sale of rice as a result of the current market price.

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  • Musa M. Dantsoho

    Other media houses who covered the event did not mentioned Army and Police. Where is this journalist got his news.

  • igbokwe Ndubuisi

    This APC government is always looking for whom to blame for their eneptitude. What a shameful government. How can you come up and start accusing your instruments of state for your failure to save the economy from collapse? The security agencies have been there all along, extorting money from people yet prices of food stuff did not go up. Why is it now that APC is in power that the reverse has become the case? This is sheer incompetence.

    • Mickey

      Thanks for this comment

  • Jimoh Abdulhameed

    Thank you Minister for saying it the way you see it. However, price control will kick farmers out of production except if government is ready to buy back the produce at any season. But why is it better to sell outside the country than in the country (Nigeria). This is actually a function of the value of the currency and the government must work on this. This movement is creating artificial scarcity and this will push up the price.

  • bobo

    How many people have been arrested, tried, sacked and jailed for extorting Nigerians? A policeman got angry when I refused to buy their squad car 50L of fuel. Now, who do I report to, who will take appropriate action against such sharp practice?

  • chinedu

    Bla bla blaaaa,government

  • paul irumundomon

    This time, they have exonerated jonathan, what a clueless changed governmemt. Very soon, they will blame the first lady, who is minding her business.

  • Timothy Aremu

    Let’s call spade a spade. Police, Army, inCustom or which agent of govt has no hand in the high cost of food Items or goods and services but the government of the day causes it. Can one Imagine the cost of petroleum prices now to the lower prices then. So the multiplier effect is what we are experiencing. What about cost of electricity and others