Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Over 500 Benue people were fed freely in Makurdi, the Benue State capital by Asiwaju Isaac Akinkunmi, owner of he popular Titogate eatery in Makurdi as part of activities to mark this year’s World Food Day.
Speaking to newsmen during the free food distribution which held at the main outlet if the eatery, Akinkumi disclosed that the gesture was to put smiles on the faces of the people on the occasion of the World Food Day.
“We are feeding at least 500 people. They consist of the poor, downtrodden in the society and those who can’t afford one square meal per day. The target is mainly the poor and that’s why you can’t see any of the rich or privileged people here today,” he said.
Akinkumi while reacting to the recent announcement by the Federal Government to ban importation of milk by 2022, maintained that it would be too premature for the federal government to take such step.
“It will take up to 20 years with planning for Nigeria to ban milk importation. This is because we are not in the global milk production zone; our cattle are raised for meat not milk production so it is not possible to ban milk importation in 2022.
“Besides hundreds of people in the diary industry will lose their jobs. Today in Nigeria, the best our local herders can do is less than a five litres per day and we need at least 10,000 litres of milk per day.”
Akinkunmi explained further that before a proper importation ban can be considered, there was need for herders in the country to change their local breeds to the foreign ones which mainly produce milk.
He emphasized the need for the country must have industries with technology to convert fresh milk into powder form as obtainable in Ukraine and other European countries.
He opined that it was not advisable for the country to remove milk from its foreign exchange window until it evolves technologies to the extent of managing the industry all by itself.
Some of the beneficiaries who partook from the free food, including Jeremiah Tur, Madu Emmanuel, and Victor Shima prayed God to bless Titogate and its owners for fighting against hunger in the land.