UN advises action to fight food insecurity in Nigeria

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, has called for a pressing action to address the pervasive issue of food insecurity in Nigeria.

Emphasizing the importance of revitalizing the country’s food systems, Schmale commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent declaration of food security as a national emergency, considering it a positive step towards combating rising food prices and shortages.

In a statement ahead of the Africa Social Impact Summit, organized by the Sterling One Foundation in collaboration with the UN in Nigeria, Schmale urged all stakeholders to unite and formulate a comprehensive rescue plan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The summit, scheduled for August 10 and 11 in Lagos, presents an opportunity for federal and state governments, the private sector, development partners, and other critical stakeholders to generate innovative solutions and new hope, particularly for the most vulnerable citizens.

“We hope the recent declaration on food security brings meaningful investment into Agriculture to tackle the current challenges,” stated Schmale. He further asserted that Nigeria can feed itself and should focus on sustainable agricultural production instead of relying solely on international food aid.

With the recent removal of fuel subsidies leading to an increase in the cost of goods and services, Schmale highlighted the readiness of the United Nations to support the Nigerian government in designing impactful palliative measures. Additionally, the UN aims to work with the government to establish enduring strategies that promote sustainable agricultural production, thereby cushioning the impacts of economic changes.

The Africa Social Impact Summit holds a crucial position in the lead-up to the global SDG Summit scheduled to take place in New York in September 2030. Schmale stressed that the upcoming SDG Summit offers world leaders a global platform to move beyond rhetoric and take concrete actions. He warned that without urgent and sustained efforts to build upon positive initiatives, the 2030 Agenda could remain nothing more than a broken promise to the world’s most vulnerable populations.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, expressed enthusiasm about the growth and impact of the Africa Social Impact Summit. He acknowledged that the summit has gained significant traction and provided an effective platform for translating available capital and resources into meaningful and sustainable impact in the development ecosystem.

Chief Executive Officer of Sterling One Foundation, Adepeju Ibekwe, revealed that the previous edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit had exceeded expectations in terms of attendance, outcomes, and impact on the development ecosystem. With the upcoming summit set to address critical issues such as food insecurity, attendees are optimistic about fostering collaboration and implementing tangible solutions.

As the Africa Social Impact Summit unfolds, all eyes are on the collective efforts and commitments of stakeholders to accelerate progress toward achieving the SDGs by 2030. The summit serves as a beacon of hope for the most vulnerable citizens, paving the way for a more secure and sustainable future for Nigeria.

Edited by Damilola Adeleke

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