Nigerians dealing with poverty, not food scarcity – Obanikoro

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Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has said that food is not scarce in Nigeria but Nigerians cannot afford to buy it due to poverty and lack of purchasing power.

Obanikoro said this as a guest on an Arise Television programme on Thursday.

“All these issues that you’ve spoken about are interwoven, they are all related. Be it security issues, be it the food. But on the issue (food), there is no scarcity of food in the country now, what we are dealing with is the capacity to purchase. We are dealing with poverty.”

He also lamented that Nigerians have allowed the nation’s economy to be needlessly dollarised.

“On the issue of scarcity of fund, it seems either deliberately or otherwise, and stupidly too, we have dollarised our economy.

“I cannot but recall 1997 thereabout when we had issues with foreign exchange. The military government of that era was arresting people and bankers to sanitise the foreign exchange regime at that time. I can also recall during the Shagari era, we had the same, almost similar problem that we are facing now.

“Now. Who is the common denominator in all this? The banks. So, you are always quick to say politicians. No politician can siphon money without the connivance of the banks.

“I am telling you they are more culpable than any other sector of our country. They are, and that’s a fact. And there is enough evidence to go around.

“The most important aspect is that we should not unduly cast aspersions on people for a situation that we, as a people, saw coming.”

Obanikoro said that President Bola Tinubu has a great understanding of the prevailing issues and is working to tackle them.

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