VP Osinbajo Raises Alarm Over Shortage of Food Supply In Nigeria

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*commissions projects in Ebonyi


*calls for synergy between states, FG to enhance national development

By; MKPUMA ENYINNA, Abakaliki

The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo during a one-day working visit in Ebonyi to flag-off  2022 Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning meeting holding in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State, raised alarm over shortage of food supply In Nigeria.
He said that  the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia as well as COVID-19 onslaught has seriously affected food supply in Nigeria, which has led to  price hike of food commodities in the market, calling for synergy from all tiers of government  to overcome the challenges facing the country.
According to him: “The council on development planning has remained a very important platform for setting the tone of national development. It certainly provides opportunity for federal and state governments to fathom out active collaboration for the wellbeing of our people.
“The need for synergy among all tiers of government at this critical time, especially as we continue to face the challenges of the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic, which is now compounded by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has already led to price and supply shock, especially in food. We must brace ourselves to collectively respond to the inevitable economic challenge that will occur and some which are already occuring.
“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the council, federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, federal and state MDAs and all stakeholders and indeed the private sector and he civil society for the sterling work that has been done in articulation a national development plan 2021-2025.
“The strategic objective of the national development plan include establishing a strong foundation for a diversified economy, investing in infrastructure, improving government and stamping out insecurity. All of which would contribute to achieving our national development aspirations.
“The content of the plan is as important as the process that which it was developed. And I find the extensive deliberations and contributions to fashion a medium term blueprint.
“But the implementation of the plan is the crux of the matter and this speaks of the relevance to the theme of the meeting, ‘Good Governance and Institutional Capacity: Pathways to Sustainable National Development’.

“The question I am sure some of us ask ourselves is that why country with huge natural and human resources still develops slowly and has greater number of poverty than other less endowed society or country without resources at all like South Korea and Singapore. 
“Why do they still perform better than the resourceful country of the world? I think most of the surveys conducted show that there is lack of good governance and weak institutional capacity that largely account for the difference.
“How public institutions functions is of course an approach determined by institutional capacity . But this is not merely having a merely educated and well motivated workforce. 
“But a system that can enforce transparency and accountability. You must have a system that can deliver on transparency and accountability.
“So even when a country has the whole natural resources in every local government area and even well educated workforce, a country can still fail and social services can still be poorly delivered. And extreme poverty can prevail,” he said.
 The vice president also  commissioned some projects executed by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer  David Umahi in different parts of the state during the visit.
Some of the executed  projects he commissioned on Friday included a newly constructed flyover at Ezzamgbo that was named after the first executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu.
Others are utra modern Government House Chapel at Ochudo Centenary City, dualized section of Enugu–Abakaliki express way, mile 50 Ishieke Road, amongst others.
Earlier in his remarks, the Governor of Ebonyi State,  David Umahi commended the vice president for his commitment and dedication, saying that Ebonyians are glad to welcome him to the state. 
 On the ongoing debate about VAT, Governor Umahi kicked against collection by state governments, stating that it should be allowed to be in the exclusive list of Federal Government to avoid plunging Nigeria into anarchy, adding that states stand to benefit more if VAT is in the exclusive list, urging the legislative arm of government to do the needful.
The event was attended by political office holders, members of the clergy, traditional rulers, executive council members amongst others.

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