Senate Chief Whip Ali Ndume has voiced concerns over the escalating cost of living and the worsening food scarcity in Nigeria.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, Ndume criticized the federal government for its inability to tackle these pressing issues and highlighted the lack of access to President Bola Tinubu for discussions. “The major problem with this government is that its doors are closed, to the extent that even some ministers cannot see the President, not to mention members of the National Assembly, who do not have the opportunity to meet with him and discuss the issues affecting their constituencies,” he said.

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Ndume’s remarks came after he and Senator Sunday Steve Karimi sponsored a motion addressing the nation’s food crisis. The senators pointed out that the World Food Programme has warned that 82 million Nigerians could face food insecurity within the next five years.

Ndume emphasized that the motion aims to alert the government to the severe food crisis affecting many Nigerians. He expressed concerns that without urgent government action, the country could face famine and starvation, especially among children. “We want to draw the government’s attention to the fact that Nigeria is not only facing a high cost of living but also food scarcity. We want the President to intervene in the issue of high cost of living and food scarcity,” he stated.

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Citing the example of Katsina State, Ndume noted that children are already suffering from malnutrition due to the food shortage. He also referenced situations in Niger Republic and South Sudan, where children are dying from hunger, and warned that similar conditions are emerging in Nigeria. “We have seen how it happened in Niger Republic and South Sudan, where children are dying due to hunger, and we are starting to see it in Nigeria,” he added.

Ndume called on the government to take immediate action to address the food crisis by consulting with experts and other stakeholders to find a solution. He expressed disappointment that the government had not yet taken concrete steps to address the issue, despite previous promises. “What we want the government to do is to sit with experts and other stakeholders to find a solution to the problem.

We are urging the government to take action, lest they forget that Nigeria is grappling with both soaring prices and a severe food shortage. We fear that a day may come when even if someone has the financial means to purchase food, they will go to the market and find none available,” he warned.