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Fed govt set to release 60,000MTs of food grains to stabilise prices


Fed govt set to release 60,000MTs of food grains to stabilise prices

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The federal government has finalised plans to release an additional 60,000 metric tonnes of food grains to make food available and stabilize the price of foodstuff in the country.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, at the Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Edun, in his address, said that President Tinubu is committed to supporting the less fortunate during these challenging times.

He stated that President Tinubu had “previously released strategic grain reserves and is currently releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of food grains, with plans for an additional 60,000 tonnes”.

These measures, the minister said, are aimed at ensuring food availability and stabilizing prices, with the expectation that prices will eventually decrease. The priority is to ensure that food reaches the market and people’s tables, no matter the effort required.

According to Edun, “President Tinubu has always said he will not leave the poor, the vulnerable the weaker in society at times like this. He has previously released strategic grain reserves, he’s currently releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of food grains and he has a plan of releasing another 60,000 tonnes of food grains.

“This is in addition to measures to make sure that whatever is in the stores comes out at this important time and we expect food prices to stabilize and begin to fall in a reasonable period and in the meantime, everything that can be done to put food in the market, on the tables of people will be done no matter what it takes.”

The finance minister talked about the implementation of an executive order allowing the Ministry of Finance, through the Debt Management Office (DMO), to offer government-backed securities.

This initiative aims to restore confidence in the Naira and provide Nigerians, both within and outside the country, the option to save in dollars. By offering dollar-denominated securities, individuals can preserve their savings in dollars while demonstrating their commitment to Nigeria.

He also talked about the collaborative efforts between fiscal and monetary authorities to address economic challenges in Nigeria. He highlighted how the Ministry of Finance’s response, including debt management strategies, led to an increase in Treasury bill interest rates, resulting in improved dollar supply to the economy.

This cooperation between fiscal and monetary policies he said demonstrates a concerted effort to stabilize the economy, reduce inflation and interest rates, and attract both portfolio and foreign direct investments.

The chairman of the MOFI Board, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, stated that MOFI will take a more active role in managing its assets from now on. He encouraged asset operators to view MOFI as partners, not competitors or regulators.

Usman also assured of MOFI’s commitment to high standards of corporate governance, including a policy to prevent conflicts of interest among staff.

The CEO of MOFI, Dr. Armstrong Takang, outlined MOFI’s renewed mandate, focusing on expectations from both the public and private sectors. He announced the launch of a N100 billion Project Preparation Fund aimed at improving the professionalism in managing public assets.

The goal, he said is to generate commercial value for the benefit of the people and enhance investor confidence in the assets’ operations and management.

(The Nation)