Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the neglect of viable agricultural policies by respective administrations has left the country in food crisis.
Obasanjo who is chairman of Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum noted that if the policies were implemented by the successive administrations, Nigeria would have been in the position to feed Africa and by extension, the world.
The former Head of State stated this on Friday during his two-day visit to Maiduguri for the Third Meeting of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum organised by the Six Pilot States in Nigeria held at Multi Purpose Hall of the Government House, Maiduguri.
He added that Nigeria has what it takes to end hunger in the country and if the government would implement its agricultural policies, Nigeria would be one of the greatest countries of the world.
“ I thank you the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima for boldly and confidently hosting this meeting in Maiduguri. I was thinking due to the Security Challenges, we may not be able to hold it here as we did in Ebonyi in 2017 and Benue in 2016.
“I also commend the Ogun State government for attending the meeting
for the first time as a member state of the six pilot states. I thank all the stakeholders here, IITA, FAO, ADB. Zero Hunger hasramifications to end poverty and hunger in Nigeria by 2025.
“I hope by the time we sit down and share our experiences, knowledge, ideas and successes of our respective pilot states, as you will be telling us what you have done and how you have achieved them, we will all learn from the successes you made in providing food to your people to end hunger.
“ We have a lot of agricultural policies that have been neglected. And if we had implemented them, Nigeria would have been one of the greatest countries of the world agriculturally, because we have what it takes to feed Nigerians and end hunger in the country.
“We can establish rice, cassava, beans, yam, fruits, grains, groundnut and palm oil food processing and manufacturing industries in some parts of the country, particularly, in the northeast and south where these resources and farm produces are manufactured abundantly”, Obasanjo said.
The former president noted that poverty and unemployment have always
been the genesis of hunger and hunger leads to malnutrition, death and
criminality, which contributed greatly to Boko Haram insurgency in
Borno and Northeast, as most idle youths found themselves will tools
of the insurgents’ activities .
He called on state governments and private sectors to embrace the
Nigeria Zero Hunger Programme and contribute immensely to its success
to achieve its objective of eradicating hunger in Nigeria by the year