Reps Decry High Rate of Poverty, Demand Agricultural Development Blueprint

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The House of Representatives yesterday urged the executive arm of government to declare a State of Emergency in the fight against poverty.

This is just as the House demanded that a sustainable food policy to combat hunger be submitted to its committee on Agricultural Production and Services.

 The representatives during plenary  adopted two separate motions aimed at ensuring a better standard of living for Nigerians.

The first motion was sponsored by the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Orker Jev, who noted that Nigeria does not have a sustained policy on food security.

This according to him, exposed the country to needless food importation.

While the ‎second motion sponsored by the member representing Wudil/Garko federal constituency of Kano state, Hon. Muhammad Ali , observed that the N500 billion intervention fund in the 2016 budget have not yielded expected results.

Orker Jev who represents Buruku federal constituency of Benue state,  observed that the cost of neglect was high as the country loses so much fortune when it’s people do not have enough food to eat.

Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in his contribution noted that there was an impending calamity should the government fail to take the issue of food security seriously.

Gbajabiamila also stated that government should restructure the agricultural sector by removing the sector from a concurrent list to residual list, so as to ensure creativity and self-sufficiency by state governments.

“If we do not do anything, that day may come that when people don’t have food to eat, they will begin to eat each other and that os the rise of cannibalism.”

“We also have to restructure, agriculture is on the concurrent list, this constitutional review period gives an opportunity to remove agriculture from the concurrent list and send it to residual, which means it is the responsibility of the state,” he said.

According to Gbajabiamila, if the states begin to look inwards and improvise, if they can be self sufficient, the issue of food security will be half solved.

The House Leader explained that government must review the minimum wage for civil servants in the face of current economic reality to achieve food security.

“We cannot be talking about food security and minimum wage will be N18, it doesn’t make any sense to set minimum wage at 18,000 and a bag of Rice is N20, 000,” he added.

Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor inn his contribution noted that the motion should be treated with utmost seriousness, and devoid of political undertone; “on this particular issue we should not play politics, I will not be playing politics,” he said.

Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, before putting the question, suggested that all members should have at least 50 acres of farm lands, while the female members  should farm  10 acres.

 Meanwhile, Wudil, in his motion noted that efforts of various governments in collaboration with the National Assembly had not yielded a positive result.

According to Wudil, the recent N500 billion intervention fund in the 2016 budget have not yielded much expected results as there is continued high rise of poverty in the country.

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