Reps to host National Summit on Food Security and Nutrition 

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 29, 20244 min

The current state of food scarcity in Nigeria poses a grave threat to the health and livelihoods of millions of people.

The House of Representatives has resolved to urgently convene a National Summit on Food Security and Nutrition in conjunction with the House Committee on Agriculture Production and Service and the Committee on Agriculture College and Institutions to address the current shortage of food and nutrition dangers to find lasting solutions to the food crises facing the country. 

The Green Chamber also asked the Federal Government to improve on short-term food subsidies, assistance to farmers, especially those engaged in dry season farming, improved supply chain control to reduce wastage, and short-term price control. 

They also mandated all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and private sector partners to actively participate in the summit and contribute towards the formulation of comprehensive solutions to ensure more legislative input for food security and nutrition for all Nigerians.

These resolutions were sequel to a motion titled “Food scarcity in Nigeria, nutritional dangers and urgent need for more government remedial measures to address food shortages ahead of the rainy/farming season” by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC, Imo).

In his debate, Rep. Okafor noted the spreading issue of food scarcity in Nigeria and the impending nutritional dangers that accompany it.

“As we approach the farming season, it is imperative that we take immediate action to avert a worsening crisis and ensure the availability of food and the well-being of our citizens.

“Aware that the current state of food scarcity in Nigeria poses a grave threat to the health and livelihoods of millions of our people. Insufficient access to nutritious food not only leads to hunger and malnutrition but also exacerbates existing health conditions and undermines the overall development of our nation.

“Also, aware of the various positive interventions by Mr President, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), and the commitment of Mr. Speaker, Rt. Hon Tajudeen Abbas in the 10th National Assembly Legislative agenda for the wellness and wellbeing of Nigerians, it is worthy to note that the Rainy and farming season is fast approaching, and the looming spectre of food shortages looms large.

“Without adequate remedial measures in place, we risk plunging our country into deeper turmoil, with far-reaching social, economic, and political implications, hence the need for a purposeful gathering and more government import waivers for farming and agricultural equipment in Nigeria,” he said.

He further expressed worry that nutrition and food are the most important existential challenge in Nigeria saying 24.9 Million Nigerians are presently in an acute/critical stage of hunger, and this is considered to be an emergency, while 85.8 Million Nigerians have insufficient food consumption and out of this number, 47.7 Million Nigerians have a crisis or above crisis level in terms of food-based survival margin.

He further explained that “the peaceful protests are taking place now in some states with citizens groaning due to hunger and demanding immediate government intervention. 

“Cognizant that the government needs to increase resources to support smallholder farmers and agrarian communities, ensuring they have the necessary inputs, tools, and infrastructure to enhance food production through short-term subsidies as the Government continues to strengthen the existing food distribution networks and mechanisms to ensure equitable access to essential food items across all regions of the country.”

Ruling on the matter, the presiding officer mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security and other relevant Committees to ensure compliance and report back to the House within three legislative weeks. 

Elizabeth Atime

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