BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR.
As Nigeria joined the rest of the globe to celebrate World Food Day, Voices for Food Security [VSF] has called on the government to make food security of the Nigerian citizens as part of their fundamental human right.
In an interview on Tuesday at the National Agricultural Show on Abuja—Keffi Road, Nasarawa State, Prof. Gbolagade Ayoola, Chairman of VFS, noted that Nigeria is yet to have provision of food as part of the fundamental human right of the citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.
Voices for Food Security [VFS] is a coalition of civil society groups promoting the right of every Nigerian to Food.
Ayoola, who is also the President of Farm and Infrastructure Foundation, contended that Nigeria cannot achieve zero-hunger unless right policy environment is created and recognised in the provision of food as a fundamental human right.
According to him, “We cannot achieve zero-hunger if policy and environment do not recognise the provision of food as a human right.
“Recognise policy about food as the fundament human right of the people. It is a demand management strategy.”
Commenting on the Right to Food Bill before the National Assembly, Ayoola said, “The Right to Food Bill introduced at the National Assembly seeks to amend the chapter two of the Constitution that fails to give any recognition to the world food security as a fundamental human right.
“We want food to be part of the fundamental human right.”
He stated that the Bill has passed first and second readings at the National Assembly, adding that the Bill is currently at the table of the Senate Committee on Human Right and House Committee on Human Right.
Therefore, Ayoola urged the National Assembly to expeditiously pass the Bill, adding that the Bill is a policy inducing bill crafted to avoid frivolous litigation by the citizenry.
On what the Bill intends to achieve, Ayoola said, “We want government to fear the right of the people, so that government will do the right thing.
“It is not necessarily to empower the citizenry to continue to take the government to court in case of its violation.”
He noted that it would translate to improved income and better livelihoods for the farmers as well as human capital development for the nation.
He argued that when priority attention is given to the provision of food, human capital base of the country would be developed, which would catapult the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
He noted that there has been lackadaisical attitude shown by the government in ensuring food security, adding that the two pillars of technology and right policies must as a matter of necessity, must be deployed by the government to achieve zero-hunger in the country.