By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday declared that Nigeria may achieve Zero Hunger before 2030 with the launch of a strategic plan and road map towards such.
Chief Obasanjo said this at the launch of a strategic plan and roadmap to achieve zero hunger by 2030 tagged: “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review”
He maintained that “the report would support and encourage the government to implement the policies, strategies, plans, and programs that have been formulated over many years, and to do so with a focus on achieving Zero Hunger by 2030, if not earlier.”
According to the former President, the launch of the Synthesis Report provided a framework that would “unlock the potential of our nation and emancipate our dear country from the shackles of hunger and poverty” and that the establishment of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum based at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), would ensure that recommendations contained in the Synthesis Report and the individual Subcommittee reports are implemented.
Emphasizing that “we must do all we can so that this effort does not suffer the fate of previous endeavours,” Chief Obasanjo lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review.
The former President commended the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) lauded Ms Ertharin Cousin “for funding and requesting that the review be conducted as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB) for providing majority of the funds, which financed the Review.
Speaking,the Director of Policy and Program, World Food Programme, Mr Stanlake Samkange praised Nigeria for developing the strategic document, emphasizing that the Report was the first in West Africa and would be a guide for other countries to emulate,saying the task of ending hunger cannot be solved by a single organisation and lauded the collaborations of the different actors in the development of the Report.
In his remark, the IITA Director General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga noted that the Synthesis Report was a departure from other previous reports in the sense that it would be backed by immediate actions and that IITA is ready to continue to support states with relevant technologies cutting across crops such as cassava, maize, cowpea, yam, soybean, banana and plantain among others.
The plan tagged: “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review” articulates what Nigeria needs to do to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2)—one of the recently adopted global goals that seeks to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030.
Also, the 60-page home-developed document reflects Nigerians’ perspectives as to what steps need to be taken to win the battle against hunger and malnutrition.
The inauguration of the Synthesis Report will be backed with immediate implementation in four states of the federation—Benue, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto beginning this January while in January 2019 eight more states will be added and by January 2021, all 36 States plus Abuja will be included.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.