Ag President Osinbajo with Mr Gene Leon, Leader of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) team on 2017 Article IV Consultation during a courtesy visit to the State House, Abuja. 1st Feb 2017. Photo: Novo Isioro

Nigeria has declared war against hunger and has set up a Presidential Task Force with a mission to beat down skyrocketing food prices, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, announced on Wednesday.

Mr. Osinbajo spoke in Abuja during the Federal Executive meeting he presided over as President Muhammadu Buhari continues to enjoy his vacation in the United Kingdom.

R-L; Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, SGF. Babachir David Lawal and Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, and Head of Civil Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita as Acting President Presides over FEC meeting at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja. 1ST FEB 2017. PHOTO: NOVO ISIORO.

He said the task force would “urgently consider measures that would ensure a steady flow of produce to the market and reverse recent price increases”, according to a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

The Acting President expressed concern at some of the inflationary rates of food prices and noted that the Task Force will explore options to promote availability and affordability of food items to Nigerians.

According to him, the Task Force, which has seven days from today to report back to the Council, will consider how to remove some of the cost-raising factors that come into play between the farms and the markets and therefore “bring relief to our people.”

There have been reports of bumper harvests in some parts of the country but the prices of food stuff still end up rather high while some of the produce even end up wasted due to a number of reasons preventing effective transportation delivery to the markets.

One of the focus areas of the Task Force, Mr. Osinbajo said, would be to review the transportation and preservation processes, and see how government can intervene in those aspects to bring down food prices.

Below are members of the Task Force include the following:

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, Engr. Suleiman Adamu

Minister of Labour & 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.

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