Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, has said that Nigerians should be thankful to God for not crossing the borders to look for food under the President Buhari-led government.
Adesina stated this in an article he published on Friday, April 29, titled ‘Akinwunmi Adesina strikes again’. Reacting to the recent visit of Adesina to the President, Adesina wrote;
“For those who look at only the downsides of things, under President Buhari, we can be thankful to God that we can feed ourselves, and not crossing the borders to look for food. All other things shall soon be added to us.
Anytime he traverses the land, air or sea like a troubadour, he must bring good tidings. Each time the Nigerian President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) comes to see President Muhammadu Buhari, he never comes empty-handed. He must bring goodies and goodies for his home country,” he said.
Tuesday this week was not different. Dr Akinwumi Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture, came on a proactive rescue mission. Something was severely threatening food security in Africa, and Nigeria particularly. It calls for urgent action.
Each time the two gentlemen meet, they start with banters. So comfortable are they in each other’s company. The jokes and bonhomie over, the AfDB President burst the speaker: ‘Urgent actions are needed to prevent a food crisis in Africa.’
“Why? How? When? What can be done? The questions came tumbling out, like water cascading from a burst dam.
As the man spoke, suddenly Russia and Ukraine were not so far away again. They were right there in the Diplomatic Room of the Presidential Villa. More statistics: ‘Price of wheat has soared in Africa by over 45% since the war. Prices of fertilizers have gone up by 300%, and the continent faces a fertilizer shortage of 2 million metric tons. If unmet rapidly, food production in Africa will decline by 20%, and the continent would lose over $11 billion in value of food production.’ Holy Moses!
The AfDB boss quoted the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who had said: ‘We are now facing a perfect storm that threatens the economies of developing countries.’ If there’s anything President Buhari is concerned about, it is that Nigerians should be able to feed themselves, without recourse to massive food importation.
That was why he encouraged us to return to the land, put his money where his mouth is by funding agriculture massively, and today, we have a lot to be thankful for. Food security is almost a reality in the country. But because the world is now a global village, and no nation is an island, the Russian-Ukraine war could still affect some fundamentals of our food security. So, what to do? Fortunately, we have our own ‘export’ to the world at the AfDB. He unfolded what he has in store for Africa, and for Nigeria, our own dear native land.”