Nigerian Workers Spend 65% Of Salary On Foods – UN

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Nigerian Workers Spend 65% Of Salary On Foods – UN

The United Nations (UN) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led federal government to make dedicated budgetary allocation to curb food insecurity.

The UN Director of World Food Programme (WFP) Africa Union Global Office, Dr. Hameed Nuru, made the call in Ilọrin, Kwara State capital, on Wednesday.

He spoke as the Guest Speaker at the maiden annual lecture of the University of Ilorin’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine themed: “Navigating nexus of food security, safety and diseases: a holistic sustainable future and economic economic prosperity”.

The programme was in honour of a former deputy vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University and first professor from Ilorin Emirate, Professor Saka Nuru.

According to him, statistics at the UN shows Nigerians spend over 65 per cent of their salary on food consumption as against 5-6 per cent acceptable rate, adding that “This is unacceptable”.

He said the country’s future is bleak without food security, adding that, “It’s not the oil, gold, diamond and other natural resources that can guarantee Nigeria’s future but food security which is now directly linked to national security.

“In Nigeria, you see budget for health, education and infrastructure among others but not on food security. It’s is only spread between budgets of other ministries. We need a dedicated budget for food security because time has come for it. Nigeria is a hotspot on food insecurity among other nations.

“We have about 36 active conflicts in Africa with some more that 30 years old. This is the single most important challenge to food insecurity in Nigeria and other affected countries”, he said.

Dr Nuru said Nigeria is predicted to have one million malnourished children from August this year due to conflicts, insecurity, and climate change, especially, in the North East, replica of the situation in Somalia.

He said there is need for Nigeria to harness indigenous foods adding that over $60.8 billions was spent to import food to Nigeria and other African countries in contrast with $15 trillion spent on conflict globally to buy guns and ammunition. This is sad”.

“Government should come up with policy that will make citizens have access to food. It’s undignifying to always hand over food to people without developing their economic capacity to be able to access the food themselves”, he said

“Africa should move away from agriculture for the stomach to agriculture for wealth and strengthen agriculture production to address food security.

“Government policy should attract more youth into the agricultural sector, encourage and support the African Free Continental trade agreement:

“WFP is prioritising its operations to reach 1.1 million vulnerable people every month in northern Nigeria. Those receiving assistance include displaced people living in camps or host communities, as well as vulnerable members of host communities and people returning home after months of displacement”, he submitted.

In her remarks, the Dean, faculty of veterinary medicine, Prof Oyebisi Azeez, said the occasion was to celebrate the legacy of Prof Nuru and reflect on impact of his work on the faculty, university and humanity/animal globally.

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