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Senate Calls on Nigerian Government to Introduce Food Stamps for Alleviation

Senate Calls on Nigerian Government to Introduce Food Stamps for Alleviation

Expressing concern over the prevalent hunger in the country, the Senate has called upon the Federal Government to implement a food stamps program as a temporary measure to mitigate the effects of food insecurity in Nigeria.

Additionally, the Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to collaborate with development partners and relevant stakeholders, particularly the Lagos Food Bank Initiative, which previously introduced the Temporary Food Assistance Programme (TEFAP) a few years ago. The aim is to formulate practical frameworks and feasible strategies for the successful execution of the program.

These resolutions were made following a motion sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), the Senate Chief Whip, and co-sponsored by Senator Saliu Mustapha (APC, Kwara Central), along with several others during a plenary session.

Food stamps, a supplemental nutrition assistance program, offer food-purchasing support to individuals with low or no income, helping them maintain adequate nutrition and good health.

Presenting the motion, Senator Ndume cited the October 2023 Cadre Harmonizé Analysis on Food Insecurity, which projected that in 2024, approximately 26.5 million Nigerians would face significant food insecurity. He attributed this projection to various factors, including ongoing conflicts, the impact of climate change, escalating inflation, and rising costs of food and essential non-food items due to the devaluation of the Naira in the exchange market.

Senator Ndume highlighted how many hungry and frustrated Nigerians have taken to the streets in several cities to protest the recent surge in food prices. He noted that countries like the United States have utilized food stamps as a government-issued coupon since 1933 to alleviate the hardships faced by low-income individuals and families.

In response to the motion, Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South), the Senate Minority Leader, emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of vulnerable individuals in his constituency, stating that food stamps would be helpful in this regard.

Senator Sadiq Umar (APC, Kwara North) stressed the need for the executive to ensure that the food stamps reach those who genuinely require assistance, and he urged for the program to be implemented promptly, suggesting the establishment of distribution structures.

Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Ogun West) highlighted the significance of food stamps even in conjunction with financial aid provided to vulnerable individuals.

Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East) emphasized that this motion is crucial in attaining food security for the country.

In his closing remarks, Deputy Senate President Senator Jibrin Barau, who presided over the plenary session, expressed agreement with the motion, acknowledging that implementing the program would help alleviate the suffering of Nigerians. He commended Senator Ndume for bringing forth the motion and assured that the Senate is committed to addressing issues that benefit all Nigerians.

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Blessing Temi

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