Buhari Ignores His Failures, Poor Policies, Blames Middlemen For Rising Food Prices
Information reaching Ibom Focus that Buhari Ignores His Failures, Poor Policies, Blames Middlemen For Rising Food Prices
President Muhammadu Buhari, in his usual habit of shifting the failures of his administration on others, has blamed middlemen for the rising food prices in the country.
He stated this in his nationwide broadcast to Nigerians to mark the nation’s 61st Independence.
He, however, said he had directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency to address the continued rise in food prices.
Buhari said: “The Agricultural sector remains key to our economic diversification efforts as the sector has been a consistent driver of the non-oil sector contributing 22.35% and 23.78% to the overall GDP in the first and second quarter of 2021.
“We have seen significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the agricultural value chain. And these have continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, as our food production capacity has increased, food prices have been going up due to artificial shortages created by middlemen who have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering.
“To address this, I am hereby directing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities.
“To further enhance food production, we have completed several new dams and are in the process of rehabilitating several River Basin Development Authorities to enhance ground water supply for rainfed agriculture as well as surface water for irrigation agriculture.
“The water projects we completed between 2015 and 2020 have improved Nigerian’s access to potable water to 71% between 2015 and 2020. This means 12.5 million additional Nigerians now have direct access to potable water.”
After dislodging the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2015 polls, Buhari promised to steer Nigeria to greater heights. But his regime has fallen short of the expectations of many Nigerians.
For instance, on February 17, 2021, President Buhari alleged that few Nigerians with ‘resources and influence’ were responsible for the upheavals being witnessed in parts of the country.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the President blamed a number of persons for the various forms of violence, including terrorism, banditry, kidnappings and ethnic tension in the country.
He was quoted as saying, “I am confident that we will eventually convince the small number of people with resources and influence that are a nuisance to this great country. God willing, we will identify them, and deal with them. I am extremely concerned about your constituency like the rest of the country.”
In a February 1, 2021 report, the presidency also blamed Nigerians for the country’s poor ranking on Transparency International’s 2020 corruption perception index.
According to the fresh TI CPI, Nigeria scored 25/100 which is one point less than its 26 points in the previous year. It says Nigeria is now 149th worst nation out of 180 countries, a record that is three steps lower than its rank of 146 in 2019.
However, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, described the report as an indictment on Nigerians and not on President Buhari.
Speaking on the ranking on Channels television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Shehu said, “I’ll tell you that this one by TI is not a judgment on Buhari or his administration or its war against corruption, I will tell you that this one is judgement on Nigerians because if you look at the indices, they used at arriving at these conclusions, they used eight indices, six of which showed Nigeria as being more or less Nigeria in the same position…”
On October 1, 2020, while giving his Independence Day speech, President Buhari blamed Nigeria’s past leaders since the start of the current democratic dispensation for the “near destruction of the country”.
Using indirect reference, the president faulted leaders who presided over Nigeria between 1999 and 2015, questioning how such leaders had the ‘impudence’ to criticise his administration.
“Those in the previous governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticise our efforts,” he said.
Nigeria’s presidents since 1999 are Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 to 2007), the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (2007 to 2010), and Goodluck Jonathan (2010 to 2015).
Rising Food Prices