From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger state government has commenced the sales of 158 metric tonnes of assorted grains worth N16 million to the less privileged at subsidized rate in order to provide succor to mark the beginning of ramadan fast at 14 selling point in Minna metropolis.
Commissioner for Agriculture and rural development Prof. Mohammed Kuta Yahaya disclosed this yesterday in Minna the state capital, that it was a social intervention from the state government to aliviate the plight of the people in the state especially the downtrodden.
Kuta while expressing sympathy over the plight of what he described as less advantage members of the society said, “the ministry of agric through its buffer programme a situation in which the ministry bought grains during harvest for storage at reasonable price from farmers to be sold at the right time for people at subsidized rate was aimed at encouraging farmers to keep production of their produce.”
He stressed that they were directly involved in the sale of grains in communities to avert the former way of official flag-off which were been hijacked by the middlemen.
The commissioner stated that buyers patronized more of rice an indication that the state farmers needed to be encouraged to increase the cultivation of rice taking in to consideration the fertile land mass in the state to actualize the ongoing state programme of Badegi consotium.
He noted that Nigerian farmers especially in Niger state would took the advantage of the Federal government ban on the importation by next year to increase their production in order to have enough rice to feed the nation as well export to better the economy of the country.
He therefore, reiterated that mudus of rice to be solt at N250, beans N170, millet N60, maize N70 assuring that the price would be maintained so as not to allowed differences between the rich and poor throughout the fasting and subsequently sallah and Christmas celebrations.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Niger State Shari’ah Commission (NSSC), Barrister Mohammed Awal Bida has appealed to traders in the state and the country not to seize the opportunity of ramadan to increase the prices of commodities.
Awal Bida urged the worthy Muslims to use their wealth to positively impact on the lives of the less privileged in the society so as to gain the blessings of the Almighty God during this month of Ramadan.