Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has blamed the

According to Ogbeh, food prices have been rising because police officers, soldiers and officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) extort money from truck drivers at various road blocks round the country.

The minister made the comments on Thursday, February 9, while appearing before the Joint Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for the 2017 budget defence.

“These truck drivers based on raw lamentations made to the Ministry in recent time, alleged that at every check points, they are always forced to part with reasonable amount of money by any group of the security agencies, which they said, made farmers to have no option than to factor cost of the extortion into prices of the food items,” Ogbeh said.

“The situation on ground as far as high prices of food items are concerned is one of a dilemma to me because while the city dwellers are unhappy with us, farmers are very happy and seriously kicking against any move to tamper with their happiness by cutting down the high price of farm produce for now,” he added.

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Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had earlier created a task force to investigate the rising cost of food items and find a solution to the problem.