Nigeria loses $5bn to food smuggling annually – Minister

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh revealed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved N165 million for the production of improved 30,000 tonnes of foundation seeds for maize by the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Ogbeh, who disclosed this to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting said “one of the problems facing maize production in Nigeria is that we don’t have the right quality of seeds and agronomic practices are not very high.
“So, the yields per hectare are among the lowest in the world. The whole thing cost N165 million for 30,000 tonnes of foundation to be multiplied to 265,000 of improved seeds which is to be given to seeds’ companies to multiply,” he added.

Food smuggling

Ogbeh also disclosed that the Council discussed the menace of food smuggling along unauthorised and illegal routes in the country, saying that five billion dollars was being lost to smugglers by the country, annually.
President Buhari, on Tuesday, had announced the inauguration of a Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to check smuggling of food items across the country’s border towns.
He warned that food smugglers would be dealt with accordingly by the government.

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