President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep concern over the heavy floods in Kebbi that took a number of lives, submerged hectares of farmlands and houses, destroyed farm produce and personal belongings.
The president expressed his feelings in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said: “I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation.
“Kebbi State is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part of this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.
“With the loss of six lives and still counting, thousands of hectares flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion naira by rice farmers, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production.
”This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items.”
While sympathising with the bereaved families and farmers affected, the president added, “we are going to work closely with the Kebbi State Government in order to bring relief to the victims.”