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Act now to avert impending anger – Peter Obi warns Tinubu about UNICEF report

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, has described as saddening the warning by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, that 31.5 million Nigerians are at risk of acute hunger and serious food insecurity between June and August 2024.

According to him, Nigeria is considered among the 20 hungriest nations in the world, ranking 109 out of 125 countries measured on the Global Hunger Index.

Obi warned that the government must take urgent steps to boost food production in the country to defeat the rising hunger, and attendant anger in the nation, having been given notice of the impending danger.

In a post on his X handle on Wednesday, the former Anambra State governor lamented that the situation in the country has become more complex with the high cost of living and high inflation rate which pervades the economy.

He expressed sadness that many Nigerian households now spend almost all their income on food alone, leaving all other family expenses to anyone’s imagination.

Obi’s words: “Now that we have been given notice of the impending danger – the additional number of Nigerians that will face hunger by June this year, I strongly urge that we work hard and put in place measures that will help us to avert it.

“I was alarmed when in January 2023, the Cadre Harmonisé, a UNICEF publication, indicated that nearly 25 million Nigerians were at risk of facing hunger between June and August 2023 if urgent actions were not taken.

“I was very concerned and worried like every other Nigerian and I then called on the government of the day to take urgent steps and stem the tide of impending hunger in the nation.

“By the end of 2023, around 26.5 million Nigerians were then reported to be at risk of hunger in the nation. By the end of 2023, around 26.5 million Nigerians were then reported to be at risk of hunger in 2024, which was still of grave concern to Nigerians.

“It is saddening again to note that the same publication, Cadre Harmonisé is again warning that more Nigerians, to the tune of 31.5 million, are at risk of acute hunger and serious food insecurity between June and August 2024.

“The situation has now become more complex with the high cost of living and high inflation rate which pervades our economy. Today, with our ranking of 109 out of 125 countries measured on the Global Hunger Index, Nigeria is considered among the 20 hungriest nations in the world.

“Many Nigerian households now spend almost all their income on food alone, leaving all other family expenses to anyone’s imagination.

“I have consistently maintained that the surest way to fight hunger in Nigeria is by moving our nation from consumption to production, which entails aggressive investment in agriculture by fully exploring and cultivating the vast arable lands mostly in the Northern parts of the country.

“Now that we have been given notice of the impending danger – the additional number of Nigerians that will face hunger by June this year, I strongly urge that we work hard and put in place measures that will help us to avert it. We must take urgent steps to boost food production in the country to defeat the rising hunger, and attendant anger in the nation.

“With the high level of insecurity and terror attacks in many parts of the country hindering farmers from their agricultural activities, and management of our monetary policies impacting negatively on small businesses in the agricultural sector, the government must secure the farmers and give them adequate support for increased food production. Building a productive Nigeria remains our focus in the New Nigeria which is possible.”

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