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Looted warehouse belongs to Nigeria’s agricultural department, not the emergency management agency

IN SHORT: Social media users in Nigeria have claimed a video shows a looted warehouse belonging to the country’s emergency management agency. But this is not true – the warehouse shown on video belongs to the federal capital agricultural department.

A post on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, says a National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) warehouse for food and relief materials has been looted in Abuja, Nigeria.

The 3 March 2024 post reads, in part: “If nothing is done immediately to stop this nationwide hunger, very soon the rich will be the only food left to loot.”

The post includes a video of people carrying sacks of food from a building, which has been viewed over 105,000 times.

In 2024, Nigeria’s inflation rate hit 31.7%. Rising food costs have led to the looting of food warehouses and of trucks transporting food.

The Nigerian president has called for the distribution of grain in the federal capital following these events.

Similar videos with the same claim can be found on Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here.

But do these show a Nema warehouse being looted? We checked.


Nema denies warehouse looting 

Nema took to X on 3 March to deny that its warehouse was looted, saying that security measures have been taken to secure the warehouse.

The post reads, in part: “This is to clarify that the looted warehouse does not belong to NEMA. However, the Agency sympathizes with owners of the  looted facility.”

Onimode Bamidele, Nema’s director of planning and forecasting, told TVC News Nigeria that the looted warehouse belonged to the Federal Capital Territory’s agricultural department and had stored grain.

According to Punch newspaper, Zakari Aliyu, the spokesperson of the Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat, confirmed that the department’s warehouse was looted and vandalised.

Some private shops close to the warehouse were also looted.

Fact-checking claims of a looted warehouse belonging to the national emergency management agency is important as it involves national security and the personal safety of Nigerian people.

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