Posted on March 8, 2018
Despite Federal Government’s claim that seven million jobs had been created in the agricultural sector, strong indications emerged last week that Nigeria risks major food crisis across the country following the displacement of more than five million farmers in 2017 alone by the unending conflicts between herdsmen and farmers.
According to the wet season agricultural performance survey report released last week by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 31 states of the federation recorded herdsmen-farmers’ clashes last year.
This was as a financial expert and Chief Executive Officer of RTC Advisory Services Limited, Opeyemi Agbaje, while commending the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lamented that conflicts were destroying investments in agriculture in the country.
In his paper titled, “The Nigerian Economy and Financial Sector in 2018”, at an interactive and capacity building forum organised for media executives and correspondents based in Abuja and the northern region by the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Agbaje, observed that having overcome economic recession in some critical areas, things were looking up for the nation’s economy going by the positive signals shown by several macroeconomic indicators, such as stable exchange rates, growing foreign reserves and inflation.
However according to the United Nations, an estimated one million people in hard-to-reach parts of the northeast where Islamist group, Boko Haram, has waged an insurgency for the past nine years, risk facing severe famine.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said, for instance, that there was “an elevated risk of famine” in the North East.
That means that famine “cannot be confirmed nor disproven with available evidence,” according to FEWSNET, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “There is insufficient evidence to make a formal determination,” it said in a report dated March 2, 2018.