CHANGE IS HERE

CHANGE IS HERE

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lawmakers reject Jonathan’s cassava bread

 The House of Representative on Wednesday rejected a bill seeking to make it mandatory for the inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour products in Nigeria.
The bill titled: “A bill for an act to provide for the mandatory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith,” subsequently failed to pass second reading.
The bill which is an executive bill had proposed that it was incumbent on the parliament to enact a law that would make its inclusion in all flours compulsory as it will not only be in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s initiative on cassava.
President Goodluck Jonathan had launched the cassava bread campaign early this year at the State House, publicly announcing his choice for the bread and encouraging Nigerians and government officials to adopt the variety as a boost for cassava production.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Adewunmi Adesina the use of cassava flour would save Nigeria N250 billion in foreign exchange from reduced import of wheat and wheat flour.
Peter Edeh (PDP, Edo) who led the opposition against the bill argued that compelling manufacturers of flour to include cassava would amount to compelling Nigerians to eat products that may be injurious to their health.
“30 to 40 per cent of Nigerians are diabetic and it will be unfair to compel them to eat cassava products since most diabetic patients are barred from consuming foods such as cassava,” he said.
“It will be impinging on people’s rights and endangering their lives to compulsorily include cassava in what they eat.”
At the end of the debate, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha conducted a voice vote and the lawmakers unanimously voted ‘Nil’ to the bill.
Majority of lawmakers who kicked against the proposal advised the government to find alternative ways of enhancing the exportation of cassava instead of forcing people to consume it.
Lawmakers reject Jonathan’s cassava bread | 247 Nigeria News Update

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