Group urges government to prioritise policies on food security

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Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF), a civil advocacy organisation, has called on government at all levels to prioritise policies and programmes that would ensure food security in the country.

The founder and lead advocate of FIF, Prof. Gbolagade Ayoola, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Ayoola, a professor of Agricultural Economics and a member of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum (NZHF), said this was necessary as their fundamental human right to Nigerians in the years ahead.

He also urged Nigerians to support government’s policies and programmes that would ensure food security in the country.

Ayoola commended the current food intervention efforts by President Bola Tinubu’s administration amid growing macroeconomic whirlwinds occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal and other fiscal reforms.

He, however, stressed that the current situation was sequel to past failure of successive governments to prioritise food security for the citizenry.

He emphasised that the new Act was the critical instrument required for the successful prosecution of the administration’s war against hunger declared by President Tinubu in 2023.

According to him, the feedback from the public about food situation particularly the rising prices showed that Nigerians were unaware that the Right to Food Bill had been passed and signed into law since 2023.

“The new Act is not an apology of state socialism but a policy responsibility and accountability Act to empower the citizens to participate maximally in policy process affecting their lives,’’ he said.

Ayoola said that the Bill had now become the ‘Food Security and Right to Food Act, No. 34 of March 2023’, which should be fully explored by Nigerians to guarantee food security for all.

“The enactment of the Bill into law after a decade of agitations by advocacy groups brings to an end the sustained policy and legislative advocacy, embarked upon by the society since 2010.

“Going forward we have now reached the implementation stage of the Right to Food Act, which we call on the government to do the needful as the custodian and implementer of statute law in Nigeria.

“Therefore, our Foundation is now enjoining Nigerians, irrespective of their social and cultural backgrounds, to come together with FIF towards a faithful implementation of the ‘Right to Food Act’ in Nigeria.

“This will guarantee food and healthy diet for all Nigerians as provided for in this enabling legislation,”he said.

Ayoola said that FIF’s agitation for an enabling law for right to food for Nigerians through a memorandum was addressed to the 8th National Assembly in 2020.

He canvassed the need for the amendment of the constitution whereby the right to food would be explicitly recognised by the Constitution which ‘dream’ has now been actualised by virtue of the new Act.

He maintained that recognising food as human right in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would legally empower the citizens to engage governments over failure to make food available and affordable

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