• To chair National Food Security Council
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buharion Tuesday sacked Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (rtd) as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and replaced him with Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo.
A statement by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, said Dokubo is currently the Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).
Adesina who said Dokubo obtained PhD in Strategic Studies from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, added that the academic hailed from Abonema, Akuku-Toru Local Government of Rivers State.
He also said the president had instructed the National Security Adviser (NSA) to carry out a thorough investigation into the activities of the Amnesty Programme from 2015 till date, especially allegations of financial impropriety and other acts which he said were alleged to be detrimental to the objectives of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Also yesterday, the president announced his plan to inaugurate National Food Security Council to be chaired by him and listed other prospective members of the council to include ministers, governors, members of security agencies and key stakeholders in agriculture.
Buhari who made this disclosure while addressing stakeholders in rice value chain in the Presidential Villa, added that the recurrent clashes between herders and farmers had shown that Nigeria’s food security had a direct link with its security objectives.
Pledging that the administration was committed to ensuring that Nigeria feeds itself, the president added that he would await proposal from the stakeholders and wished all farmers what he described as fruitful wet season.
“I will be inaugurating a National Food Security Council that I will personally chair. The council will include governors, ministers, security agencies and key stakeholders across the entire agricultural segments of farming, fisheries and livestock management.
“Our experiences today of clashes between farmers and herdsmen or the challenges fishermen face due to global warming and other environmental factors clearly demonstrates that our quest for food security has a direct link to our national security objectives. The Food Security Council will ensure alignment and bring efficiencies.
“I want to assure all Nigerians that this administration is committed to Nigeria feeding itself. And from what I have heard today, this can happen in not too distant future. As I look forward to receiving your joint proposal, I wish all Nigerian farmers, a very successful 2018 wet season.
“I want to thank the Governor of Kebbi State for his unwavering commitment to the rice value chain and indeed, aAgriculture as a whole. He has become a true ambassador for rural economic development,” he said.
In a related development, the president expressed satisfaction over the increasing role of agriculture as a strategy for job creation among young Nigerians.
He stated this while receiving Mr. Boukekri Rmilli, Foreign Minister of Tunisia in the State House, saying his administration would increase its support for agriculture as a mechanism for jobs creation.
“We are trying very hard to provide jobs, for our youths. We are investing heavily in agriculture. Following the uncertainty in the oil market and the huge unemployment situation in the country, we chose to put our fate in agriculture. I am glad that our young people are accepting agriculture instead of waiting for white-collar jobs. They are out there sweating it out in the sun, making a living. Agriculture is the way to go, even when we are realising this almost belatedly,” the President said.
In a statement, Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, said the president told the minister that his administration recognised the progress Tunisia had made in agriculture, tourism and medical health, and would consequently raise a team to visit the country to identify sectors in which the two countries could work together.
The statement added: “Mr. Rmilli, who is also the leader of the delegation of businessmen, informed the President that his country is anxious to grow trade relationships with Nigeria. He expressed satisfaction with the large number of local business men who turned up for the Nigeria – Tunisia Business Forum on Monday in Abuja.
“The Minister delivered a special message to President Buhari, in which Mr. Beji Caid Essebsi, President of Tunisia, congratulated the Nigerian leader on his achievements in security, economy and role in Africa.”