Can Hunger be Eradicated in Nigeria?

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The World Hunger Day was marked all over the world on Sunday, May 28, including in Nigeria. Although the current administration pledged to eliminate hunger among its campaign promises in 2015, that is yet to happen, with several millions of citizens going to bed hungry or subsisting on one meal or less in a day in the country. To you, can hunger – which is also a vital Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – be eradicated in Nigeria or not? If yes, how can this happen?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* No, hunger eradication in third world countries including Nigeria is a mirage because leaders and elites are too selfish and corrupt. We must revolutionise agriculture to stop importing foods. We have the land, population, zeal, resources e.t.c. to achieve this feat, but lack the political will and honesty. Now is the right time to act.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Lagos

* Eradication of hunger is possible, if more people go into farming. Now that farmers are making good money for their yield, as more farmers are drawn out of poverty, the average Nigerian will be speedily attracted to join the profession. If mechanised agriculture is more vigorously pursued, then we would be on our way to food sufficiency. On the other hand, without critical infrastructure in place to create the enabling environment for business to thrive, we cannot create the jobs that can end hunger.

Mr. Buga Dunj Jos, Plateau State

* What we see today, we can talk. It’s God’s fulfillment that we see. Don’t blame anybody.

Mr. Endurance Williams, MD, Double Catering Service, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

* Hunger is strange to Nigeria as we all know. What brought the situation we found ourselves today are our thieving politicians. Nigerians have been deceived that you don’t need to labour before you can eat and some farmers have sold their land at give-away prices. Well, with God, all things are possible and we can only keep praying and try by all means to dodge idleness.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* No, it cannot be eradicated in Nigeria. Not right now. Apart from our low level of technology and its application this generation has very negative mindset. We must make and consume sufficient made in Nigeria foods, agro services e.t.c and check glut, sharp practices and smuggling. We have abundant natural and human resources to accomplish this vital SDG goal. No other time than now to act.

Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos

* Acting President Yemi Osinbajo paid a surprise visit to an Abuja market recently on his way to Italy for the G7 summit – just to avoid swallowing fabricated stories from aides. I believe the solution to hunger in Nigeria is here in Nigeria – we should beam the searchlight internally and produce results.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* Hunger can be eradicated if our leaders will have fear of God in their dealings over stealing our commonwealth meant for citizenry wellbeing. With our abundant resources we don’t need to lack food on our tables if not for bad leaders. Until we stop bad people in governance hunger will continue lingering in our land. The solution to hunger is diversification to agriculture.

Mr. Gordon C Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Yes, by a clearly defined road map that will engage the small farm holders in all ramifications (100% input support regime supported by clear cut legislation that will compel states to incentivise a private sector-led food production programme where government will truly walk the talk about eradicating hunger. We can harness this potential by developing an irrigation infrastructure for all season farming, where we can soon produce enough for local consumption and export.

Mr. Ikpa Matthew, Asokoro Abuja

* Yes, we can because we have the resources and capacity to terminate hunger, if we commit to it. We need a deliberate commitment to agric-business across all value chains and bridging the wide inequality gap in Nigeria through effective hands-on synergy between leadership and its citizens at all levels of governance.

Ms. Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Yes, we can eradicate hunger because our land can produce enough for all of us. Even the little we are producing with one-third of our land mass now is sufficient to eradicate hunger if we have the required infrastructure to distribute them widely. Can you imagine the number of food commodities trapped in the interiors of Nigeria because of cost of transportation? That is why we need the railway system and cheaper transportation system to move them out to the urban areas.

Prof. Kate Nwufo, mni, Abuja

* The Federal Government and the States should assist farmers with soft loans in buying fertilisers at lower rate. Let government at all levels rebuild infrastructure i.e. roads leading from the hinterland to the cities where the farm products can be processed, and no doubt remarkable growth will be achieved.

Mr. Yusuf M.B.O, Nda Aliu Kwara State

* Hunger cannot be eradicated anywhere on earth. Even the wealthiest North American, Asian and European nations have not eradicated hunger. Nigeria has consistently lacked disciplined, people-centric leadership and therefore the thought of eradicating hunger is a huge joke. Any political leader in Nigeria who promises to eradicate hunger is selling a dummy to the citizenry because our nation thus far lacks the type of leadership that can reduce hunger sufficiently not to talk of eradicating it.

Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

* It can be eradicated if the authorities are sincere by releasing fertiliser, loans and insecticides timely to farmers, and to stop playing politics over the issue.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* The question is more rhetorical than realistic. Hunger has always existed in the human race and it will continue to exist – notwithstanding advances in technology and living standards. What is, however, achievable and worth pursuing is its minimisation through credible sustainable programmes targeted at the rural poor and extremely vulnerable. Brazil, under former President Lula demonstrated that, with genuine political commitment and will, it is possible. That is what has been missing thus far in Nigeria.

Mr. Abubakar Sani, Legal Practitioner, Wuse 2, Abuja

* Yes, hunger can be eradicated in Nigeria in the long run, but the immediate focus should be on mitigation efforts. Millions of Nigerians go hungry to bed daily and the government and all stakeholders need to do something urgent, by making local food production a priority, providing incentives and inputs to farmers, ensuring good access to market for farmers, adequate storage for bumper harvests and price control for agricultural products.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE RESPONSE

Yes, it can be eradicated: 7

No, it cannot be eradicated: 3

Others: 5

Radical tip: Agric revolution!

Total no of respondents: 15

Male: 12

Female: 3

Highest location: Lagos & Abuja (4 each)

Next Week: Can Special Courts Help Check Corruption?

The Federal Government, in a recent broadcast by the Acting President, announced plans to designate some specific courts to handle corruption cases as part of judicial reforms to check public and private sector corruption in Nigeria. Given past records where only one ex-Governor has been tried and convicted for corruption among several other cases, do you think these new special courts can ensure effective prosecution and deterrence against looting and corruption in Nigeria?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (June 8 & Monday, June 12) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, June 15