Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who spoke to correspondents after the meeting, said government is concerned about the protests, particularly the one that occurred in Minna, Niger State and wants to ensure that there is relief for citizens.
He informed that the meeting was just the first in the series of planned sessions as he revealed that the government will make available the food in its storage across the country.
He said the government is also in talks with private millers and major commodity dealers to see what they can provide.
The Information minister stated: “We just rounded up a meeting. It is a special presidential committee to address the issue of food shortage or lack of enough food on the table of most Nigerians.
“This is just the beginning of that meeting. It is going to continue tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The government is very concerned about what Nigerians are going through, especially what happened in Minna yesterday, and therefore government is taking some action to ensure that Nigerians have some relief in terms of the availability of food on the table.
“Of course, this meeting is not by itself exhaustive. It’s just like I said, the beginning. It is going to continue tomorrow and the day after.
“Now, some of these will involve unlocking the foods that are available in most of the storage facilities (National Food Reserve) around the country. You know that the Federal Minister of Agriculture has some food reserves. That is going to be made available to Nigerians.
“The government is also talking to major millers and major commodity traders, to also see what is available in their stores. To open it up, so that government will provide some intervention, discuss with them provide some intervention to make this food available to Nigerians.
“What the government is noticing is that actually there is still food in this country. Some people are taking advantage of the situation especially because of the high cost, the depreciation in the value of our currency that has led to the cost of these food items also going up. So, all these issues were discussed.”
In the message to Nigerians, he said, “What I will tell Nigerians is that the President has directed that government needs to step in to stem this tide.
“Government will not fold its arms and see the way Nigerians are suffering in terms of the availability of these food items.
“So, I want to plead with you to understand with the government. By the time these meetings are concluded, we’ll be able to issue a definite statement on what the position of government is in this regard.
“But all I can say is that discussions are ongoing, and very soon a solution is in sight for Nigerians.”
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Staff to the president, Femi Gbajabiamila; National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu as well as alongside some ministers
Including Ministers of Education, Dr Tahir Mamman; Finance, Wale Edun; Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari, minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso.