President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the distribution of 150 trucks of rice seized by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the 36 states of the federation.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.
The news conference was on the fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 pandemic and oil prices fiscal shock.
Ahmed said the seized trucks of rice had been handed over to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for onward distributions to Nigerians.
She added that in addition to this, the president had also approved the distribution of grains from strategic grain reserves across the country.
The minister stated that as part of the effort to support the farmers, the president also approved the reduction of the price of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000 per bag.
She added that this was another measure to give subsidy to farmers in view of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, more measures will be taken to provide broader benefits to citizens.
“We don’t want to rush and announce measures that will end up benefitting only a few of the segments. Our interest is to make sure that as much as possible a lot of Nigerians are productive and have liquidity in their hands.
“This will help to increase the consumption thereby assist to improve the economy.
“This is not something we will announce in a hurry without consulting with the central ministry and also without consulting with the key participants in the sector” she added.
The minister noted that the emerging health and economic risks resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic and decline in international oil prices posed existential threats to Nigeria’s economy, healthcare system, national security, as well as the lives of the citizens.
She emphasized that extra-ordinary measures would be required, as the situation evolved, to address these challenges.