Obasanjo seeks ban of imported fruits
Worried about the looming danger of food insecurity in Nigeria, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, ban importation of vegetables, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and other fruits into the nation.
Obasanjo, made the call weekend at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in Ibadan at the inaugural meeting of the ‘Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review’ Committee, comprising representatives of the World Food Programme, African Development Bank, members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industry as well as technocrats drawn from both the public and private institutions across the country.
Addressing the forum, Obasanjo, who is also the convener of the initiative, called for collective change of mind from all Nigerians, insisting that a multi-stakeholder and multi-dimensional approach is highly desirable to achieve the goal of a zero hunger nation by 2025 ahead of the 2030 deadline given by the United Nations.
The former president said, “It is going to take the collective effort of each and every citizen of this great nation and our partners. It will require our collective change of mindset to at first identify the opportunities that abound. It is in this context that we have invited you to this meeting.”
Obasanjo expressed worry that in spite of the present high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, the vegetables, cucumber, carrots, lettuce and other fruits being consumed in many hotels in the country are imported saying this is not only disgraceful to the economic sense of the nation but also annoying.
He charged the Federal Government to stop importation of European vegetables and fruits without further delay, in the overall interest of Nigerians.
Also speaking at the, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole described the ‘Zero Hunger’ as not only a well-designed initiative but also an enabler for other good things in the nation.
The minister expressed hope that it (initiative) will help to facilitate the implementation of the National Policy on Food and Nutrition that was recently approved by the Federal Government.
Representative of the United Nations World Food Program, Stanlake Samkange and that of the African Development Bank, Chiji Ojukwu jointly pledged their determination to participate in the initiative with a view to eradicating hunger in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
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