The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has ordered the release and sale of buffer stock grains from its strategic food reserve as part of measures to reduce high costs of staple food items in the territory by 50 per cent.
According to the Minister of State FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who disclosed this Thursday in Abuja at the flag-off ceremony of the public sale of the FCT 2012 buffer stock grains, the move is to also help ameliorate the hardship caused by the high prices of grains especially in this month of Ramadan.
Akinjide said that the buffer stock grains would be sold at 50 per cent subsidy and that FCTA has approved the sale of 11,548 bags of maize, 2,196 bags of guinea corn and 5,070 bags of millet to the public, Area Councils, Government Agencies and various farmer associations at the subsidized amount.
She said:"The FCTA is concerned that prices of the staple foods are usually high at this period of the year and has, over the years, released stored grains from our Buffer Stock Programme.
"You are also quite aware of the crisis in the euro zone and the continued downward spiral in the world economy which has led to the increased prices of most food items in Nigeria, being a part of the global community, is not isolated.
"To give effect to this event therefore, I have approved that, 11,548 bags of maize, 2,196 bags of guinea corn and 5,070 bags of millet all in 50kg sizes be sold to public, Area Councils, Government Agencies and various farmer associations at a 50% subsidy. Accordingly, maize and guinea corn would be sold at N1, 800, while millet will sell at N2, 250."
The minister also disclosed that the FCTA was working towards raising the Buffer Stock storage capacity from its current level of 1,250 metric tonnes with the completion of the specialized warehouse at Tungan Maje, which has a storage capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes.
Earlier, the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, FCTA, Mrs. Olvadi Bema Madayi, said the Administration remained responsive to the alleviation of the hardship faced by the citizenry who have requested that it intervene in the stabilization of the soaring prices of grains.
Madayi noted that the buffer stock grains programme was designed to intervene in the chain of agricultural production.
"The programme is the second tier of the tripartite food storage programme and is replicating the activities of the National Strategic Food Reserve in the FCT. The grains to be sold are subsidized to cushion the prevailing high prices," she said.