Nigeria: FG Uncovers 32 Routes of Smuggling Food Out of Nigeria

21 February 2024
  • Elumelu proposes private sector partnerships

The federal government has uncovered 32 routes through which food items are smuggled out of the country.

Speaking at a conference on Public Wealth Management organized by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) which was held in Abuja on Tuesday, Vice President Kashim Shettima said, "Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to neighbouring countries.

"Just in that Ilela axis, there are 32 illegal smuggling routes. And the moment those foodstuffs were intercepted, the price of maize came down by N10,000. It came down from N60,000 to N50,000.

"So, there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation but this is the time for us to coalesce into a singular entity," he said.

Also, speaking, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, said the President Bola Tinubu administration, despite inheriting a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, is working hard to moderate prices.

The minister also said that aside from the 42,000 metric tons of grains so far released, the federal government is planning to release an additional 60,000 metric tons in the coming days.

He acknowledged the hardships faced by Nigerians, assuring that the government was taking measures to alleviate their suffering.

"As part of these interventions, the government has released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon," he said.

Speaking on the private sector perspective on how government can tackle economic challenges head-on, the Chairman of Heirs Group, Tony Elumelu, said there is need for the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to partner with seasoned professionals in the private sector with a turnaround mindset to transform both federal and state assets and set performance targets for them.

"You should have an improvement mindset, a hunger for operational excellence and also build strong governance structures, including a strong board with seasoned private sector professionals and an empowered executive management team. Balance this with non-executives, who bring objectivity and experience," he said.

Elumelu added that there should be "continuous review of the operating environment to identify and mitigate emerging portfolio risks,"

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