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How can a food security crisis be avoided in northern Nigeria?

22 December 2020

Al Jazeera’s Inside Story programme took a look at the insecurity crippling much of northeast and northwest Nigeria today, with host Mohammed Jamjoom and guests Serah Makka-Ugbabe, Nigeria country director at ONE, a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty by 2030, Ovigwe Eguegu, a geopolitical analyst at the security think-tank Afripolitika, and firebrand activist Aisha Yesufu, who rode to prominence on the back of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

Watch the discussion below.

Jamjoom noted that Nigeria’s northwest was the main grain and cereal producers in the country. But insecurity has led to a steep decline in food production, with the United Nations warning that famine was a strong possibility. The whole country was feeling the impact of the decline in food production as the different regions are linked in the food supply chain.

Makka-Ugbabe spoke about the need to ensure the borders were adequately patrolled, emphasising that “insecurity is slowing Nigerian development down”. This insecurity was not just about the north, but the entire country.

Yesufu lamented that the government was not “focused on its primary responsibility” – the security of lives. She stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s presence in his home state of Katsina did not deter the recent abduction of over 300 schoolboys in Kankara.

Sadly, none of the guests had any concrete ideas on how to stem the chronic insecurity that is the reality for farmers and everyone else. Describing what is wrong is the easy part.

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