Rising cost of gas may starve Nigeria into nothingness ― Senator Akanbi

• Urges FG to consider relaxing ban on importation of food items

A former Senator representing Oyo South, Soji Akanbi, has described the high cost of cooking gas as a huge monster and one that might starve into nothingness the nation’s desire for a greater future.

Akanbi bemoaned that the high cost of cooking gas coupled with growing hunger meant there continued to be a high percentage of mentally average or below average adults to manage the future of our country.

In a statement released on Monday, Akanbi warned that the nation will continue to be unsafe with the high number of hungry Nigerians cum food insecurity.

As a matter of urgency, he said it was time for governors to summon their economic teams and gather oil and gas experts in their states to come up with creative ideas to solve the present problem.

Akanbi said: “The rising cost of cooking gas has become a huge monster and millions of citizens are concerned.

“I am concerned, not just because of the present growing hunger in the land but because the greater future we hope for might be starved into nothingness.

“A hungry child cannot learn, they cannot create, they cannot reject crime, and they cannot easily build a sense of worth. The quality of food, the balance of nutrients, its consistency and quantity are all what the development of a child depends on.

“A hungry country, state or village is, in all ramifications, an unsafe one and more importantly now, hungry children mean a high percentage of mentally average or below average adults to manage the future of our country. We must not do this to ourselves as a country, as a people.

“When we put our problems in the right perspectives, especially considering the hierarchy of needs, we will realize that sometimes, we just need to simplify leadership by taking care of some of the most important elements that create good citizenship and we would have snuffed the bigger demons.

“This is the time for governors across Nigeria to summon their economic teams and gather oil and gas experts in their states to come up with creative ideas to solve this problem.

“I make reference to an initiative by the Lagos State government, a 40 metric tonne Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) plant in Ikorodu that was recently commissioned by the current governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

This gas plant alone, built by the State-owned energy firm, can cater for 20,000 homes!

“Even in a highly populated state like Lagos, supplying 20,000 homes with quicker and cheaper LPG for domestic use will significantly cut down air pollution and ensure that more children can feed well and regularly too.

“I do not need to go into analyzing the demand and supply chart for cooking gas over the years, now that it is no longer just for the rich. But if indeed Nigeria plans to develop its natural gas industry to grow domestic use of safe cooking gas and we are serious about our citizens’ quality of life, then, governments at the state level must be proactive in developing interventions and solutions.

In addressing hunger, Akanbi said it is time the federal government relaxed the ban on the importation of certain food items until local production nears its potential to give us self-sufficiency.

He added, “While we look forward to a better 2022, and Nigerians continue to hope for food abundance in the nation, the Federal Government must by now be aware that a country where the majority are hungry can never have peace and progress.

“The masses cannot survive without rice and other staple and complimentary food items. So, this might be a good time to consider relaxing the ban on the importation of certain food items until local production truly nears its potential to give us self-sufficiency.

“Yes, the agricultural sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP and we are considered to be a leader in agricultural production.

“However, we should only start to pride in these when we start to produce enough to feed our huge population and end hunger in our land.

“Therefore, and lastly, there are the need for the FG to consider collapsing all the agricultural loans, grants and interventions programmes into one single unit so they can be better managed, monitored and their impact can be better felt by the people they were created for.”

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Rising cost of gas may starve Nigeria into nothingness ― Senator Akanbi

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