Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has launched operation wipe out hunger in Nigeria by 2030, on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
The 5-year programme tagged: Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review 2030, commences in 4 pilot states including Benue, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto states respectively. In his speech during the event in Abuja, Obasanjo who was the Chairman, explained that the programme does not attempt to change any government policy. He said:
“As this synthesis report demonstrates, the initiative was undertaken to support and encourage government to implement the policies, strategies, plans and programs that have been formulated. To do so with a focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals 2 by 2030, if not earlier.”
According to the former Nigeria President, there has never been a shortage of good prescriptions and reports for reducing hunger in Nigeria, but the implementation of these have been poor and unsustained.
“This time around and with the establishment of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum based at IITA, we will ensure that recommendations contained in this synthesis report and the individual sub-committee reports are implemented. We must do all we can so that this effort does not suffer the fate of previous endeavors.”
Mr. Obasanjo who was the chairman of the occasion expressed hope that the actions recommended in the report will be implemented in all 36 states plus Abuja starting in January 2017.
“The Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum will support, encourage and monitor progress in Benue, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto. During 2017/2018.”
He said, that the governors of these states had given him assurances that they will make implementing the Zero Hunger Roadmap a priority, adding that in January 2019, eight more states will be added to the focus, while by January 2021, all the 36 States plus Abuja will be included.
Obasanjo informed that ‘the Forum will embark on six monthly progress report in the focus states and annual progress report on the National Synthesis Report’.
He maintained that the key to achieving the zero hunger depends on implementation and collective will of all stakeholders.
“The task of attaining Zero Hunger in Nigeria cannot be left to the government alone, neither can it be left to the Civil Society nor the Private Sector.
“There must be strong support for farmers at all levels and for producers or farmers organizations and government must additionally provide the right policies, regulations, and incentives.”