By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at the weekend said Nigeria should brace up on food production as the continued importation of food into the country was unacceptable
Chief Obasanjo said this at a stakeholder meeting between the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan to draw a roadmap to end hunger in Nigeria by the year 2030.
According to the former President who convened the meeting, there is the need for Nigeria as a country to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and that the task of attaining the SDGs should not be left for the government alone; neither could it be left for the civil society nor the private sector.
“It is going to take the collective effort of each and every citizen of this great nation and our partners. It will require our collective change of mindset to at first identify the opportunities that abound,” he said.
Chief Obasanjo stressed that although the MDGs may not have achieved all its targets, the SDGs presented Nigeria another unique opportunity to drive its development agenda and end hunger.
While emphasizing that Nigeria’s continued import of food was unacceptable and requested that efforts be made to address the import bill, Chief Obasanjo praised efforts of the international community towards fighting hunger and poverty as efforts and gains made under the Millennium Development Goals.
In his remark, the Representative of the World Food Program, Mr Stanlake Samkanga said unlike the MDGs, which were driven by the United Nations, the SDGs would be driven by members of state, saying, “SDGs will be achieved by countries themselves, and the WFP/UN’s role is to support countries in achieving these goals. WFP’s role is to be a catalyst in a country–owned process”.
Speaking, the IITA Director General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga lauded Nigerians for their willingness to drive the initiative, saying, IITA would provide the necessary support for Nigeria to achieve its target within the framework of the Zero Hunger initiative.
A Director with the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Chiji Ojukwu, in his remark expressed the commitment of the Bank to initiatives that would help Africa to feed itself.
Dr Ojukwu declared that the Bank was ready to work with Nigerian authorities in the Nigeria Zero Hunger process, through the commodity value-chain to end hunger and poverty.
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.