Abdulraheem muhammed olarewaju

The United Nations has once again raised alarm over the state of food security in Nigeria, predicting that by 2030, approximately 82 million Nigerians, representing about 64 percent of the population, may face severe hunger. 

This stark prediction comes amidst an ongoing surge in food prices, exacerbated by various challenges including climate change, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s food inflation rate hit an unprecedented high of 40.66 percent in May 2024, surpassing the previous month’s record of 40.53 percent. 

This surge represents the largest year-on-year increase in food prices since records began in 1996. 

Historically, food inflation in Nigeria has averaged 13.42 percent, with the lowest point being -17.50 percent in January 2000.

This has generated a lot of reactions on social media, particularly on Facebook.

Ricketts Oluwarotimi expressed concern, hoping that political leaders would listen and take precautionary steps. “Instead of spending on frivolities and unprofitable road projects, better they pay more attention to agricultural revolutions to provide more food at affordable cost. Farmers should be provided with necessary support including adequate security against bandits, herdsmen, and terrorists.” Oluwarotimi’s comment reflects widespread frustration over government priorities, urging a shift in focus towards agricultural investments and enhanced security for farmers. His call for attention to agriculture over infrastructure highlights the immediate need for food security measures.

However, in his reaction, Dick Onyema Vincent underscored the immediate impact of security challenges on farming activities, corroborating the UN’s prediction. “All these doubting Thomas, the UN prediction is already on ground in this country. Because, no adequate security to enable most farmers enter hinter land to farm, most arable land for farming are lying waste because the frequent threat to farmers by herdsmen. Government should also provide agricultural incentives to farmers to boost production.” His comment suggests that the food crisis is already manifesting due to herdsmen-related violence, which hinders agricultural productivity.

Ade Omoniyi, while reacting, asserted that the predicted crisis is not a future threat but a present condition, emphasizing the urgency for immediate action. “People are already experiencing it. Not may, it has started since early this year.”

Moreso, Habila Maigari raised concerns about the government’s preparedness and response strategies. “So what palliative would you grant Nigeria to alleviate this imminent hunger?” Maigari’s question reflects the public’s anxiety about practical solutions and palliative measures to address the looming hunger crisis.

Godwin Okorie’s skepticism about the UN’s focus on climate change shifts the blame to security issues, particularly banditry. “I don’t believe this prediction by UN; climate change has nothing to do with food in Nigeria. Our problem here are bandits who do not allow farmers to go to farm, not climate change at all.” His comment illustrates a common perception that local security problems, rather than global climate factors, are the primary barriers to food production.

Abiodun Oparinde, however, advocates for a radical approach to solve the food crisis by banning open grazing. “Total ban on open grazing the only solution, these unscrupulous group of people must be tamed, or eliminated for farmers to go back to farming.” His comment reflects a strong sentiment against herdsmen, suggesting that strict measures are necessary to protect agricultural lands and ensure food security.

Bright Nnaedozie, moreso, draws attention to the potential social unrest stemming from food insecurity. “Before the end of this year, if the government don’t tackle this rising hunger; they may have poked an angry bear by witnessing in a grand style of what is happening at Kenya…A hungry man is an angry man!” He warns of the repercussions of government inaction, emphasizing the volatile nature of hunger-induced public sentiment.

Ezeoke Chinedu Gerald’s comment reflects a deep concern about the trajectory of Nigeria’s future amidst the growing food crisis. “This news is in line with what our senate president said that by next 7 year when our president tenure ends we will not recognize Nigeria again.” His reference to political leadership underscores the broader implications of food insecurity on national stability and governance.

In his reaction, Isaac Funsho humorously remarked, “I’m very sure that EMILOKAN GROUP, Yoruba and Afenifere has their own Special Market and Filling Stations were they buy Foods and Fuel in Nigeria ” Funsho’s comment juxtaposes the seriousness of the issue with local anecdotes, highlighting the diverse reactions among Nigerians to the UN’s alarming prediction.

Olushola Olushola emphasizes the need for grassroots involvement in farming, stressing the importance of subsistence farming amidst economic uncertainties. “No joking again, everyone needs go to farm, Even, especially subsistence farming for family, if there’s no enough cash for commercial.” His comment resonates with calls for individual and community-level action to mitigate food insecurity.

David Oyiwona Idoko, however, expresses skepticism about the relevance of international organizations in addressing Nigeria’s internal issues. “Please I don’t want to hear anything from all foreign control organization. This prediction is not necessary. I thought IMF and World Bank says the only way Nigeria’s economy can go forward is when we remove subsidy and devalue naira. Hope these foreign countries will accept our goods since we need to export to get forex.” His comment reflects a broader sentiment of distrust towards external economic advice and predictions.

Destiny Irene, moreso, succinctly captures the immediacy of the food crisis. “2030 too is too far. We are already hungry in Nigeria as we speak.” She dismisses the future timeframe of the UN’s prediction in light of current hardships faced by Nigerians.

Muhammad Jibril’s pointed criticism blames both the UN and Nigerian leadership for failing to address the root causes of food insecurity. “UN and Buhari are now happy Nigeria has become a hunger station.” His comment reflects disillusionment with government efforts and international agencies’ interventions.

In his reaction, Okeylamboto Comedy uses humor to express detachment from the severity of the predicted crisis. “No wahala I will not be in Nigeria that time.” His lighthearted remark contrasts with the serious tone of other commentators concerned about the future implications of food insecurity.

Bright A. O. Omoshaye blends regional pride with a call to action. “My fellow Southwesterners, no shaking! On EMILOKAN’s mandate we forever stand! Just approach any nearby market square and boldly scream your indigenous people to the ears of the foodstuffs seller, your case would be settled. 7yrs more to go, we must teach Peter Obi and the Igbos the lessons they will never forget in a hurry.” Omoshaye’s comment illustrates regionalistic perspectives and political undertones amidst the food crisis discourse.

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