The National Association of Bureau De Change (BDCs), Sokoto state chapter, has appealed to the Federal Government to deepen local rice production to achieve national food security.
The group also urged the government to lift the ban on rice importation to complement local production.
Alhaji Sahabi Yar-Abba, the chapter Chairman, made the appeal in an interactive session with newsmen in Sokoto on Saturday.
According to him, the call has become extremely imperative as majority of Nigerians are now wallowing in abject poverty.
“This is occasioned by the negative tolls the raging global Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), had taken on the global economy, including Nigeria.
“The precarious situation Nigerians found themselves was formidably aggravated by the ever-increasing hyper inflation.
“Majority of Nigerians are now finding it too hard to put food on the table, hence, it is now a daunting task for most bread winners to fend for their families,” he said.
Yar-Abba added that most families in the country had since forgotten something called balanced diet or three square meals, as what they are struggling for is anything that can go into the stomach.
“There is hunger in the country and the earlier this ban is lifted, even if it is temporary, the better for Nigerians and the pauperised citizens,” he added.
The chairman further appealed to the federal government to initiate more workable policies and programmes aimed at further boosting the local production of assorted items.
He noted that doing so would encourage more Nigerians to engage in farming, beyond the subsistence level.
He commended the government and security agencies for sustaining the fight against the various forms of insecurity and plea for more concrete steps to further guarantee the safety of lives and property.
He said: “While some parts of the country were relatively safe for farming activities, in some parts the residents are more concerned with the security of their lives and property.
“However, the measures presently being taken will encourage the colossal number of Nigerians who were internally displaced and those who have become refugees beyond the shores of the country, to return home and engage in farming.
“This is the only way to reduce the current hardship Nigerians are facing, as well as mitigate the effect of hunger and starvation,” he said. (NAN)