Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu recently declared an immediate State of Emergency on food insecurity to tackle the increase in food prices in the most populous black nation on earth.
Presidential spokesperson Dele Alake in a statement the President is “not unmindful of the rising cost of food and how it affects the citizens.”
Food prices have been on the rise across Nigeria in recent years and this situation deteriorated due to the impact of government policies such as the removal of subsidies on petrol, among others.
Nigeria’s annual inflation rate rose to 22.41 per cent in May from 22.22 per cent in the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The food inflation rate has also quickened to 24.82 per cent in May from 24.61 per cent in April.
The state of emergency declared by the President however underscores the seriousness of the situation.
The gravity of the situation is thus emphasised by recent statistics from UNICEF, which indicate that approximately 25 million Nigerians are at high risk of food insecurity in 2023.
Nigeria’s ranking of 103rd out of 121 countries in the 2022 Global Hunger Index (GHI) has further highlighted the severity of the issue. With a GHI score of 27. 3, Nigeria’s level of hunger is classified as serious.
Food insecurity is a major problem in Nigeria.
This is owing to the fact that the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that Nigeria’s food security situation has worsened in the past 15 years and the impacts is owing to different factors that jeopardize the Nigerian food security situation.
Reports say there are mostly three factors that affect food security – climate
change, economic development, and violent conflict.
In Nigeria, all the above mentioned factors play a key role, the country is affected by climate change,
the economy is fluctuating and there has been the Boko Haram insurgency going on since 2009.
The President’s rcent declaration of a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria is a crucial and timely step towards addressing the pressing issue of food scarcity and clean water availability in the country.
With rising food inflation and concerns about the viability of the agriculture and food value chain, it is evident that urgent action is required to ensure the well-being of Nigerian citizens.