By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Executive Director of Initiative for Grassroot Advancement Commitment to Rural Development (INGRA), Mr. Hamza Aliyu on Thursday cried out over looming Food Insecurity in Kogi State.
This was contained in a press statement issued in Lokoja on Thursday by Mr. Aliyu who lamented over the high levels of unemployment and under employment, especially among the youth which can ultimately result in crisis and violence.
He, however, enjoined the state government to put in resources in financing the Agriculture sector so as to avert the pending social upheaval in the state.
“For the second time in a row, Kogi State is among the leading states in terms of high cost of food items despite the 70% farming population”
“The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report for February showed that the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 17.33 percent (year-on-year) in February 2021. This is 0.86 percent points higher than the rate recorded in January 2021 (16.47) percent.”
“The CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living all Items Inflation in January 2021, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Kogi (21.38%), Oyo (20.17%) and Bauchi (19.52%), while Kwara (13.96%), Abuja (12.96%) and Cross River (12.22%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation.
“In January 2021, Kogi recorded the highest food inflation on a year on year basis with (26.64%), Oyo (23.69%) and River (23.49%), while Ondo (17.20%), Abuja (16.73%) and Bauchi (16.37%) recorded the slowest rise. Some of the reasons for this increase was said to be the rise in the cost of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS). But this does not tell the whole story as the rates are different from State to State.”
He said that he observed that the cost of basic staple foods like Yams, Garri, Vegetables and meat etc has been on the upward trend in the state especially in the State Capital saying is worrisome considering that Kogi State is an Agrarian State.
He therefore advised the State Government to stop paying lip service to the issues of food Security and its effect on the general Insecurity of the State adding that Statistics showed that Kogi State is unable to feed itself and depends on food from other states.