NigeriaNigeria Raised $500m For Food System Transformation - Shettima

Nigeria Raised $500m For Food System Transformation – Shettima

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The vice-President of Nigeria, Mr Kashim Shettima says the country has mobilised over $500 million in innovative, profitable, equitable and sustainable food system transformation initiatives.

Nigeria Raised $500m For Food System Transformation - Shettima
VP Shettima | X picture

While chairing a high-level meeting on the first day of the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome, Mr Shettima disclosed this through a statement issued by his spokesman Olusola Abiola.

As per NAN reports, the meeting was declared open by the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

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Mr Shettima explained that the funds were mobilised through domestic resources, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions and climate funds by leading agro-businesses.

He said the funds would be used for financing food system transformation, developing Nigeria’s agro value chain, and setting up Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones.

“In this event, the government of Nigeria will be showcasing its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) as a unique example of a successful partnership between producers, the public sector and private operators,” stated the Nigerian VP.

He added, “The VCDP, which is co-funded by Nigeria and IFAD, has empowered vulnerable farmers and youth to engage in commercial partnerships with some of the biggest food processing and marketing firms in the world, such as OLAM.”

OLAM is operating in more than 60 countries with an annual revenue of about $39.8 billion.

While speaking on the government’s vision about ending hunger, the vice president noted that building on the success of the VCDP, the federal government was determined to empower Nigeria’s rural smallholders and operators, youth and women living below the poverty line to enable them to take advantage of the new special processing zones.

Also, on the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), Shettima said it brought together local governments, IFAD, AfDB, IsDB, GCF, OLAM and other private actors alongside the government of Nigeria for transformative financing of food systems that leave no one behind.

Similarly, while featuring in the panel discussion with Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, and Niger Republic’s Prime Minister Ouhoudou Mahamadou, Mr Shettima said President Bola Tinubu was determined to transform the concept and meaning of modern governance by demonstrating commitment towards the food system in the country.

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“President Tinubu hit the ground running from day one of his administration, which is barely two months in office and has declared a state of emergency in food security and took it as a livelihood item within the National Security Council,” noted Mr Shettima.

On removing impediments to economic recovery, the Nigerian VP said, “We had two albatrosses around our necks, subsidy on petrol and multiple exchange rates system. We withdrew the subsidy on petrol from day one, just like President Ruto did in Kenya. To mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal, the government embarked on the immediate release of grains and fertilisers.”

Mr Shettima also mentioned that a commodity marketing board “has been put in place to review and monitor the prices of food items continuously.”

Along this way, the president has already approved the infusion of a huge quantum of funds towards repositioning our security architecture.

“We have similar problems with Somalia and Kenya, especially in the North-East and North-West regions of our country, and so we are repositioning our security architecture to provide support for farms and farmers,“ the vice-president said.

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Earlier, while declaring the summit open, Mr Gutteres commended the participating countries for their commitment to addressing the problems of hunger and malnutrition.

“This is the gathering about the food system. It is essentially to fulfil those basic human rights, the right to food. It is outrageous that people continue to suffer in the world of plenty,” he said.

The vice-president also had a bilateral meeting with the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Both leaders discussed issues about the development of the two countries.

Mr Shettima was accompanied to the meeting by Nigeria’s ambassador to Italy, Mfawa Abam and deputy chief of staff to the president, Ibrahim Hadejia, and other senior government officials.

IFAD president Alvaro Lario, Muhammad Suleiman Al Jasser, president of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the vice-president of AfDB, Hassatau N’Sele.

Others were the Vice President of OLAM International, Reji George and the vice-president of the Commodity Alliance Forum (representative of farmers), Ejim Lovelyn.

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