THE Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, CON, has expressed concern over severe disruptions to agricultural value chain due to security challenges in the country and the COVID-19 health crisis, stressing that the Nigeria population facing food crisis could increase if no urgent and resilient actions were implemented.
Emefiele who stated this on Wednesday in Uyo Akwa Ibom State capital while presenting a keynote address at the 2021 CBN Executive Seminar noted that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture organization reported that at least 9.2 million people in Nigeria faced a food crisis between March and May 2021.
Emefiele who was represented by the deputy governor, Economic Policy, Dr Kingsley Obiora added that the fact that the United Nations projected Nigeria’s population to be around 398 million people by 2050, challenges Nigerians common will to implement strategies targeted at achieving food security and safety.
He described the theme of the seminar, “Food Security in Nigeria: Options for Policy” as apt, stressing that the theme couldn’t have come at a better time than now when security issues, climate change, and COVID-19 related disruptions are challenging food production and supply, not only in Nigeria but also in the global economy.
His words, ” I note with concern the severe disruptions to the agricultural value chain caused by the security challenges in the country and the COVID-19 health crisis, as households continue to grapple with the production, processing, and distribution of food with undesirable effects on livelihoods.
“To amplify this concern, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has reported that at least 9.2 million people in Nigeria faced a food crisis between March and May 2021.
“Due to insecurity and the effects of COVID-19 health crisis, as well as climate change, the figure could increase further if no urgent and resilient actions were implemented. Ladies and gentlemen, a glimpse into the future would reveal an imminent food crisis.
“The United Nations has projected Nigeria’s population to be around 398 million people by 2050, far exceeding that of the United States of America. This number challenges our common will to implement strategies targeted at achieving food security and safety, as failure to do so could subject the population to the risks of hunger and diseases”
The CBN governor therefore, urged the participants to painstakingly discuss the issues around the theme of the Seminar with a view to articulating innovative and workable solutions that would lead to improved productivity and increased food supplies for the nation.
He noted that CBN has engaged in several developmental initiatives aimed at increasing food production, creating job opportunities and diversifying the economy including the release of N987.825 billion under its N 1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to 262 real sector projects on agriculture, manufacturing, mining and services sectors.