Tinubu Returns from France, Calls Emergency Meeting on Food Security

President Bola Tinubu made his way back to Nigeria on Tuesday night after a two-week private visit to Paris, France. The presidential jet, NAF 001, landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja around 9 pm.

Top government officials, including his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, were among those who welcomed him. Others present included Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, and the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi.

Although the purpose of his visit remained undisclosed, Tinubu’s departure announcement on January 24 stated that he would return “in the first week of February 2024.” This trip marked Tinubu’s third visit to France and his 14th foreign visit since assuming office eight months ago.

His return coincided with protests in several states over the escalating cost of food and living expenses. Demonstrations erupted in Minna, Kano, and Ondo State, with citizens expressing dissatisfaction with the rising prices.

On Tuesday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, revealed that Tinubu had convened an emergency meeting to address the food crisis and prevent further security deterioration. The Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention, chaired by Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, held its first session at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

After the meeting, Idris informed the media, “It is a special presidential committee to address the issue of food shortage or lack of enough food on the table of most Nigerians.” He emphasized the government’s commitment to intervening to alleviate citizens’ suffering and stabilize food prices.

Idris clarified that Nigeria was not experiencing a shortage of food but acknowledged the need to boost supply and reduce prices. The government is engaging with millers and commodity traders to increase availability and provide interventions to make food accessible to Nigerians.

Additionally, he highlighted concerns about certain individuals exploiting the situation to exacerbate the high food prices and currency depreciation, emphasizing the national security implications of the issue.

The discussions are ongoing, with further meetings planned to develop a comprehensive solution to the food crisis and ensure food security for all Nigerians.

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