Governor Udom Emmanuel has taken on the issue of food scarcity in Akwa Ibom State. This follows the skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs such as rice, garri, beans, onion, tomato and others in local market.
The governor has directed the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, and her team at the ministry of Agriculture to initiate measures that will reduce the prices of foodstuffs to a reasonable extent, ahead of the Christmas season.
The plan to reverse the hike in food prices was part of deliberations at the State Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at the Government House, Uyo.
While briefing journalists after the SEC meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Iniobong Ememobong, disclosed that :
“EXCO has directed the State Commissioner for Agriculture and the entire agriculture apparatus of government to ensure that the prices of garri and rice are crashed to a reasonable amount in preparation for the yuletide.
” Also, EXCO noted the hike in the price of onions and has directed the Ministry to take practical steps to ensure large scale commercial production of onions.
“We do not want to be challenged by things we can surmount, hence the desire of Government to produce at least 80 per cent of consumables here in the state is on course”, he added.
Mr Ini Ememobong also alleged that involvement of market unions in the recent food price hike is one of the problems of the high price of commodities in the state. He said it was not just that of availability of the products but union practices to cause artificial scarcity.
However, Governor Emmanuel is putting measures in place to ensure a crime-free Christmas season across the State and has directed security agencies to handle all security infractions in the State with diligence in preparation for the season