Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.
In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.
This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”
The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,805 confirmed cases.
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,648 samples across the country.
To date, 61,805 cases have been confirmed, 56,985 cases have been discharged and 1,127 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 595,283 tests have been carried out as of October 22nd, 2020 compared to 590,635 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,805
- Total Number Discharged – 56,985
- Total Deaths – 1,1127
- Total Tests Carried out – 595,283
According to the NCDC, the 138 new cases were reported from 13 states – Katsina (44), Lagos (35), Kwara (15), Kaduna (13), Plateau (7), Imo (6), Adamawa (5) Rivers (4), Yobe (3), Ogun (2), Oyo (2), Osun (1), FCT (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,768, followed by Abuja (5,944), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,746), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,585), Ogun (1,989), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,659), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,065), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (919), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 613 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (162), Taraba (122), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Breaking: Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC
Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.
The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.
According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) October 22, 2020
Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.
#EndSARS: President Buhari issues stern warning to hoodlums
The President has issued a warning to hoodlums who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
President Buhari, in his state of the Nation address to Nigerians this evening has warned hoodlums and the conflict entrepreneurs who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
The President explained that the choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution and other enactments.
“I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” he said.
President Muhammad Buhari frowned against the desperate and inhumane actions of mobsters, arsonists and hoodlums which has led to the loss of human lives, sexual violence, attacks on correctional facilities, as well as public and private properties which were completely destroyed or vandalized.
He explained that these bad actions will not be tolerated, as it is not in line with the legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of the country. He reiterated that the Government shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.
What you should know from the President’s State of the Nation address
The President reiterated that the government has the obligation to protect lives and properties, and ensure that the citizens go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
However, he appealed to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
The President, however, warned the youth that doing otherwise will amount to undermining national security as well as law and order, which under no circumstances will be tolerated.
President Buhari thus called on the youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions, as their voices have been heard loud and clear.