By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of his administration to ensure self-sufficiency in food production and stability in prices of commodities in the country.
Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman, said in Abuja that Buhari gave the assurance in a statement at the launch of Outgrow Hunger, Nigeria, 0n Thursday
The Outgrow Hunger, Nigeria, is an initiative of a non-governmental organisation, Agricultural Agenda Nigeria Initiative (AANI), founded by Mr Ephraim Odemwingie.
The campaign was launched on World Food Day, observed on October 16 every year, and this year also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), with the theme: ”Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our Actions Are Our Future”.
While welcoming the campaign by the AANI, Buhari declared that the objectives and strategies of Outgrow Hunger, Nigeria, complement government’s policies, programmes and efforts on food security.
”We are all familiar with the many factors that have constrained efforts to ensure self-sufficiency in food production in the country, leading to the present situation of fluctuating prices of foodstuffs.
”Despite the best efforts that have been made, the challenges persist.
”But so have we, as a government, persisted in finding solutions, guided by the strong belief that, with the natural and human resources our country is endowed with, starvation is inexcusable,” he said.
In rising to the challenges, the president affirmed that his administration believed in the efficacy of shared responsibilities because the issue of food security affects everyone.
”As the saying goes, a hungry person is an angry person. No country can afford a population of hungry people,” he said.
Buhari directed relevant government ministries, departments and agencies to explore opportunities, from the perspectives of their different mandates, to support the campaign.
He also called on relevant agencies of State and local governments to join in the campaign to keep its momentum alive during its two-year span.
The president told the organisers that he is looking forward to personal participation in the campaign, adding: ”Together, we must outgrow hunger in Nigeria. It is in our common interest to do so.”