In the plenary session on Tuesday, the Senate called on the federal government to implement a food stamp measure as an intervention to alleviate the hardships and soaring cost of living faced by Nigerians.
This decision followed the adoption of a motion presented by Senate Whip, Ali Ndume, and Senator Saliu Mustapha of Kwara Central.
The food stamp initiative aims to provide food-purchasing assistance to low and non-income individuals, ensuring access to adequate nutrition and health. Mr. Ndume emphasized the urgency of introducing food stamps to help Nigerians navigate challenges such as inflation, escalating food prices, and economic hardships exacerbated by conflicts and climate change impacts.
Drawing on the example of the United States, where food stamps have been utilized since 1933 to support low-income individuals, Mr. Ndume argued that advocating for wage increases alone cannot address the prevailing hunger and hardship in Nigeria. He stressed the importance of implementing the food stamp program.
During the debate, all senators voiced their support for the motion, recognizing the potential effectiveness of food stamps in addressing hunger and poverty. Minority Leader Abba Moro and Senator Sadie Umar emphasized the necessity for the federal government to approve and implement the food stamp approach, ensuring its accessibility to vulnerable individuals and households.
Senator Sani Musa highlighted the positive impact of food stamps, echoing the sentiments of his colleagues. Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin commended Senator Ndume for initiating the motion, noting its potential to curb inflation and mitigate the high cost of living in the country.