Govs meet with NSA over insecurity, inflation

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) convened a meeting with the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to discuss both the country’s security challenges and the escalating prices of food items.

During the meeting, which included a representative from the Department of State Services (DSS), the governors reached an agreement to bolster the capabilities of the NSA office at the state level to enhance the gathering and quality of intelligence.

Furthermore, they advocated for a reduction in Foreign Exchange demand through moral persuasion to lessen reliance on foreign exchange, imported goods, and services. This approach was seen as crucial in addressing the current security challenges and ensuring food stability in the country.

NGF Chairman and Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, disclosed these decisions in a statement on Thursday following the conclusion of the first emergency virtual meeting of 2024.

According to the statement, the governors reiterated their dedication to implementing emergency food interventions. These measures include incentivizing food production, releasing food items from strategic reserves, and collaborating with food millers and commodity traders in their respective states to enhance food availability as immediate short-term actions.

The statement read: “We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our emergency virtual meeting held the 6th February, 2024 following a briefing by National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the representative of the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), deliberated on the security situation and food stability in the country and resolved as follows:

“Recognised the need to address the connection between food inflation, naira depreciation and rising insecurity across parts of the country from a systemic perspective and called for urgent discussions with and synergy amongst stakeholders in improving the situation in the shortest possible time.

“Agreed on the following immediate actions: Reduce Foreign Exchange Demand: by use of moral suasion to reduce dependence on foreign exchange, imported goods and services. Improve Foreign Exchange Supply: by easing commodity export requirements to encourage exportation and supply of foreign exchange; Curbing illegal export of solid minerals; and increasing crude oil production to earn more foreign exchange.

“Support improved Enforcement efforts: by reviewing the extant criminal justice laws in the States to ensure quick dispensation of justice on perpetrators of insecurity in the States; supporting the office of the National Security Adviser in the States to enhance the nature and quality of intelligence.

“Reiterated Governors’ commitment to deploying emergency food interventions, including incentivizing food production, release of food items from strategic food reserves and collaboration with food millers and commodity traders in their various States to boost food availability as an immediate short-term action.”