Subsidy Removal: Tinubu’s 252,000 Metric Tonnes of Grains Earmarked for 50 Million Households ‘Not Free’

Hajiya Zainab Saidu, the Head of the Minna Operations Office, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in Niger State, has clarified that the distributions of 252,000 metric tonnes of grains to 50 million households as instructed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are not free, but to be sold at a “subsidised price.”

Siadu who also oversees NEMA affairs in Kwara State, said this in a chat with Daily Trust on why the palliative had not been distributed, despite the president’s directives.

“NEMA will receive it through the grain reserves and hand it over to the state governments for distribution at a subsidised rate, not free,” she said. “The state will then collaborate with the local governments for those interested.”

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“What we have for distribution now are relief materials for the flood victims, not palliative,” she further said. “And these relief materials were approved by the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is for those affected by the 2022 flood disasters. So, it is not palliative. For palliative, we don’t know when we are going to receive it because they have not even released to anybody yet.”

Spokesman for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abdulmumin Isa, had earlier stated that the grains would be distributed last Monday. This was after the National Economic Council (NEC) urged NEMA to immediately distribute the grains to states within one or two weeks.

Manzo Ezekiel, NEMA’s spokesman had last week said “massive logistics’ were required, though he assured that the distribution would be done within the timeframe.

When he was contacted yesterday, Ezekiel could not explain reasons for the delay. But officials of NEMA at the states level said the items had not been distributed to them.

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Charity Agber, a media officer of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), revealed that the state was yet to take delivery of the grains.

“No please, we (SEMA) haven’t received any yet,” she told Daily Trust in a telephone chat.

The situation, according to Daily Trust, was not different in Kaduna State as a NEMA official said the federal government’s palliative had not been distributed to the state. The official said the focus of the office at the moment “is on assisting the 2022 flood victims”.

When asked if the state had received grains and fertilizer, Zonal Coordinator, NEMA Office, Kaduna, Abbani Imam Garki, said he could not give a specific date the items would reach the state, but assured that if there was any communication from the headquarters, he would inform the stakeholders accordingly.

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Executive Secretary, SEMA, Yobe State, Dr Muhammad Goje, told our correspondent that the agency was yet to receive grains from the federal government.

He said the state government had distributed food items and grains to 500 persons living with disabilities in Damaturu Local Government Area.

Similarly, an official of SEMA in Gombe said no palliative items had been received from the federal government or the state office of NEMA.


Following the looting of food stores by residents of Adamawa State who were profiled as hoodlums, security presence has been heightened across other states, particularly in the northern part of the country.

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The Disaster Risks Units (DRUs) of the NEMA comprising personnel of the various security agencies, had been deployed to mount the agency’s warehouses across the states of the federation.

Abbani Imam Garki, Zonal Coordinator for NEMA in Kaduna State, confirmed this.

“We have contacted the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) where our warehouses are located to be on the alert,” he said. “We also informed all SSS officers and are closely monitoring the situation.”


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