Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed deep concern over severe disruptions of the agricultural value chain due to security challenges in the country and the COVID-19 health crisis.
The CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, who made the assertion in a keynote address at the 2021 CBN Executive Seminar in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, warned that the food crisis being experienced in the country could worsen if urgent steps were not taken to address the situation.
Represented by CBN’s deputy governor for economic policy, Dr Kingsley Obiora, Emefiele recalled that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had reported that at least 9.2 million Nigerians will face food crisis between March and May 2021.
Emefiele explained that the fact that the United Nations projected Nigeria’s population to be 398 million by 2050 is a challenge to the country to develop strategies aimed at achieving food security.
He said the theme of the seminar, “Food Security in Nigeria: Options for Policy,” was apt, especially now that security issues, climate change, and COVID-19 related disruptions were challenging food production and supply, not only in Nigeria but also in the global economy.
“I note with concern the severe disruptions to the agricultural value chain caused by the security challenges in the country and the COVID-19 health crisis, as households continue to grapple with the production, processing, and distribution of food with undesirable effects on livelihoods.
“To amplify this concern, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation has reported that at least 9.2 million people in Nigeria faced a food crisis between March and May 2021,” he said.