The United Nations has announced that it will support Nigeria, Yemen, Afganistan, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the sum of $100 million to prevent possible famine, which it says is caused by insecurity, climate change, and poor economic environment.
This was revealed by Mark Lowcock, Head of UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, on Tuesday. He said the UN would disburse the financial aid from its Central Emergency Response Fund.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last week that the United Nation’s World Food Programme, with the Food and Agriculture Organization, had warned that Nigeria could face a “major (food) emergency… or series of emergencies” in the next three to six months, alongside Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Yemen.
The UN said Nigeria’s funds would be directed to the North-Eastern region at risk of famine and the country would receive the aid of $15 million alongside Afghanistan. Yemen would receive the highest aid at $30 million, and $7 million each would be given to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with $6 million to Burkina Faso.
“An extra $20 million has been set aside for anticipatory action to fight hunger in Ethiopia, where droughts could exacerbate an already fragile situation.
“The prospect of a return to a world in which famines are commonplace would be heart wrenching and obscene in a world where there is more than enough food for everyone. Famines result in agonizing and humiliating deaths,” Lowcock said.
“They fuel conflict and war. They trigger mass displacement. Their impact on a country is devastating and long-lasting.
“No one should view a slide into famine as an inevitable side effect of this pandemic. If it happens, it is because the world has allowed it to happen. Famine can be prevented. But we have to act in time to make a difference. Right now, more money for the aid operation is the quickest and most efficient way to support famine-prevention efforts,” he added.
The U.N. Central Emergency Response has received $500 million so far, in funding in 2020. According to the UN. Since it was established in 2005, the fund has provided close to $7 billion for life-saving humanitarian actions that have helped hundreds of millions of people across more than 100 countries and territories.
AfCFTA to reduce illegal gold mining in Nigeria – Minister of Mines
The Minister of Mines and Steel says that illegal gold mining would be stemmed by the implementation of AfCFTA.
The Nigerian Government announced that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would help reduce illegal mining in the country and also standardize Mining practices in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, at the NAN forum in Abuja on Sunday.
The Minister disclosed that the mining sector was ignored by the Federal Government after oil was discovered, which made it possible for artisanal miners to venture into the sector.
“Right now, many Nigerians are into artisanal mining and this was caused by the fact that when oil was discovered, Nigeria moved away from mining, which was the mainstream of the economy.
“Before oil and gas, Nigeria relied on coal and tin; we were exporting and were indeed, quoted on the London Metal Exchange.
“And that is basically what was giving Nigeria money in those days before oil came but when oil came, we moved away. We left mining behind,” he said.
He added that the most mined commodity in Nigeria by artisanal miners is gold, which has created a lucrative black market for international buyers. He also said that with the AfCFTA, documentation of mining exports would be required, reducing illegal outflows.
“Gold is the most traded mineral in Nigeria and these people mine gold and get nuggets. There are several thousands of such miners, when you aggregate what they mine, it comes in large volume and several kilos of gold,” he said.
“To know the extent of the money they make in the gold business, they hire private jets to take them out illegally because they realise a lot of money.
“At the rate gold is selling, one ounce of gold is selling for $2,200 and by the time you carry a thousand kilogrammes, you are making several billions of naira.
“But with AfCFTA coming into effect, we hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria because now it is a free trade but there is documentation,” he added.
The Minister said that with AfCFTA going into effect, the FG hopes it will help stem the problem because Nigeria is supposed to trade freely with Africa with documentation.
“We hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria. I will not allow such illegal activity to go on within those countries,” he said.
In case you missed it: Nairametrics also reported that the Mining Minister said a Nigerian-Canadian company, mining gold in Nigeria’s Osun State looks set to commence the exportation of gold in June this year.
Insecurity: Nigeria needs to increase military spending – Senator Ali Ndume
Ndume has called on the FG to increase military funding so as to contain the rising insecurity in the country.
Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.
The Senator disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
“We have the forces on ground, but they need what it takes especially more equipments.
“All these take a lot of money, and they need to be given those things in order for them to perform.
“The number one priority is ammunition and those are lacking. They are not sufficient enough,” the Senator said.
The Senator said that the Nigerian Air Force must have the air capabilities that translate to things like fighter jets, helicopters, etc. Ndume said that the military must be given adequate training in order to be able to manage such equipment.
He added that Nigeria is placed in an unfortunate position, which has seen it lacking in air defense capabilities and revealed the build-up to higher military equipment purchase is not easy.
He called for the FG to explore all options, in order to make sure that the Nigerian armed forces have all that they need to rise up to the challenge of insecurity.
He said, “I am not satisfied. The funding of the armed forces and security agencies is not enough, compared to our population of over N200 million.
“When you look at current military spending, compared to other poor countries around, we are not doing enough, we have to do more.”
What you should know
- In recent years, insecurity in the country has heightened with Boko Haram terrorism, herders-farmers clashes, attacks and kidnappings by bandits, etc.
- Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.
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