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February 21, 2024
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Foundation, Oxfam task FG on implementation of Right to Food Act

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By Felicia Imohimi

The Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) and Oxfam in Nigeria have urged the Federal Government to commence implementation of the Right to Food Act.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Right to Food Act (5th Alteration Act No 34, 2023) was passed into law on March 3, to increase citizens’ access to affordable food.

They made the call at a world news conference on Wednesday in Abuja, organised by FIF, a foundation promoting policy and best practices in agriculture and rural development.

It was organised in partnership with Voices for Food Security and Oxfarm in Nigeria.

FIF President, Prof. Gbolagade Ayoola, told journalists that the conference was designed to advocate for the full implementation of the Act to protect citizens’ right to food.

This, he said, became necessary in view of the current economic hardship affecting a larger percentage of the country’s population, particularly the poor and vulnerable.

He said the Act empowers citizens to hold government accountable in policy implementation and failure to meet their food needs and entitlement.

According to him, the government has the obligation, as provided by the Act, to respect and fulfil the right of citizens to food, adding that it entails regulation of activities of state and non-state actors and bodies inimical to people’s food entitlement.

“The obligation stipulates the limit of the state’s exercise of power, which includes refraining from destroying people’s access to food through unfavorable public policies.

“It also involves the provision of food assistance to poor and other vulnerable groups such as children at home or in school, nursing mothers, and internally displaced persons among others.

“This obligation underscores the role of agriculture as a social investment sector.”

Also speaking, Dr William Mafwalal, acting Head of Programme, Oxfam in Nigeria, expressed readiness of the organisation towards supporting policies and programmes that ensure food security and gender mainstreaming.

Mafwalal said that Oxfam in Nigeria, FIF and other organisations have supported the realisation of the Act that took 13 years to come to fruition.

According to him, the full implementation of the Act will ensure that everyone has access to food irrespective of his or her financial status. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Philip Yatai

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