Nigeria’s minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, on Monday, acknowledged that there is hunger in the land and Nigerians are displeased about the state of things.
He said this at a meeting he held on Monday with commissioners for agriculture of 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, asking them to put measures in place to prevent the destructive works of locusts and quelea birds in the country.
“Now the price of food is very high today and Nigerians are very troubled. People are very angry and they speak on the television and over the radio, write in newspapers, they are hungry and want that situation resolved,” said Ogbeh.
Ogbeh said the meeting became imperative after the ministry was alerted by officials from neighbouring Niger over the invasion of the pests on their farms. It is usually from Niger that the pests attack Nigerian farms.
“Through the efforts some of you are making, grain production is increasing steadily especially in the north. But you also know how dangerous quelea birds can be and locusts. If they arrive, within minutes they can wipe out what our farmers have put in the field.
“The reason for this meeting is how to urgently attack the locusts and not even in Nigeria but from Niger Republic. And you have to be on the look out. We have the Niger-Nigeria Commission and we have been in contact with people in Niger Republic to see what we can do immediately to make sure that the pests don’t arrive here.”
Present at the meeting were Commissioners from Commissioners from Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Sokoto, Enugu, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa States.