Again, Gov Bago Capitulates, Denies Banning Bulk Food Purchase in Niger State


The Governor of Niger State, Hon. Umar Bago has again denied that he banned the bulk purchase of food items in the state for sale in other states across the country.

Recall that Hon. Bago a few weeks ago addressed the media in Minna the state capital where he announced that his government had “stopped” the bulk purchase of foodstuff in the state “until further notice.”

In a video widely circulated in both conventional and social media, Bago is seen saying:

“Trucks who come to buy foodstuff from our local markets or buy from our villagers in bulk should be halted for now. We have stopped mass purchase from our local markets in all our local governments from now henceforth until further notice. Anybody found doing that, we have given security agencies  the go-ahead to confiscate the trucks and share the food to the people.”

However, speaking with the media on Sunday, Bago capitulated denying that he ever made such an order.  Speaking on his earlier position, the governor said:

“We have markets in the local government headquarters, we have local markets in the bushes, now these aggregators or what do you call them — saboteurs and even smugglers go to these villages.”

“For a farmer to give you a bag of paddy, it may take him two to three days because it’s manual. Imagine arresting two hundred trucks of paddy crossing the Benin Republic from Niger State, you can imagine what it does to the market.

“Our factories here are starved, people take our paddies to Benin Republic, mill it, bring it back and exploit our people.”

“So, what we did is to say, ok, let’s control the level of sales, we know how much you need as a farmer, you don’t need to sell everything overnight. Why is somebody luring you with excess cash, not minding the price?”

“A bag that we sell for N40,000 somebody is giving you N100,000, you know, obviously you know there’s a problem there and so it has helped cut down the prices, putting stock movement of food from Niger to any state within Nigeria, you know local sales are going on within the country, but we have blocked all the borders where they export these things to.”

The former federal lawmaker in the same breath admitted that his earlier directive was already yielding results in the state.

“It’s yielding results and we need to intensify as a country, you know there’s the African Free Trade Agreement, but you know it has a limit. You can pack all your food in the name of looking for money.” he said.


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