The federal government has taken decisive action to address the pressing economic crisis by distributing 44,656 bags of assorted food items to the residents of the Federal Capital Territory.

This initiative also serves as a proactive measure in anticipation of the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction and the Annual Flood Outlook, which have predicted flood situations in various parts of the country.

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During the flagging off ceremony in Gwagwalada Area Council, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Zubaida Umar, handed over the food commodities to Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the FCT Minister of State.

These palliatives were sourced from the National Strategic Reserve, under the custody of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and were approved for release by President Bola Tinubu to the FCT and the 36 states of the federation.

The allocation for the FCT includes 23,996 bags of 25 kg rice, as well as an additional consignment of 9,580 bags comprising 4,680 bags of maize, 13,920 bags of sorghum, 960 bags of garri, and 1,100 bags of millet.

Zubaida Umar emphasized that these food items will be distributed equally among vulnerable individuals in the six Area Councils of the FCT, aiming to alleviate the prevailing food shortages and provide relief to Nigerians in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

To ensure wider reach and inclusivity, Zubaida directed that 20% of the food items allocated to each Area Council be given to religious organizations (JNI & CAN), while 3% should be provided to boarding schools within the Area Council.

Dr. Mariya Mahmoud expressed her appreciation for the federal government’s gesture, recognizing its significant impact in mitigating food scarcity and the high cost of food items, particularly for the most vulnerable segments of society.

She assured the seamless distribution of the commodities, emphasizing that relevant Secretariat, Departments, and Agencies (SDAs) have been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing necessary security measures to prevent any untoward incidents that occurred in the past, where miscreants took advantage of such initiatives.

Mahmoud called upon all residents to demonstrate responsibility and cooperation during the distribution process, thus contributing to the resounding success of the administration’s efforts.

She emphasized the administration’s commitment to prioritize the welfare of citizens, acknowledging that sustainable development requires a strong focus on the agricultural sector for achieving collective food and nutrition security.

Furthermore, the minister assured the commencement of the distribution of essential agricultural inputs to farmers, guaranteeing a successful planting season. The administration will continue to diligently create a safe, secure, and enabling environment that fosters agricultural investments, leaving no resident of the FCT hungry.

Hon. Lawan Kolo Geidam, the Mandate Secretary of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, revealed that meticulous distribution plans have been developed in collaboration with area council authorities to ensure an efficient exercise.

These plans aim to reach targeted groups, including the six area councils, Joint Union Action Committee (JUAC), faith-based organizations (JNI & CAN), and 17 graded chiefs.

Additionally, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), widow groups, orphanages, groups with disabilities, leprosy colonies, Bwari rehabilitation home, Wako Orphanage, and IDP camps have been identified as beneficiaries of this initiative.

The secretariat has mobilized over 1,000 vulnerable individuals who will directly receive allocated food items, further enhancing the effectiveness of the distribution process.