Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria Needs Trade as Much as it Needs Food

The United Nations (UN) has called for $5.6 billion in donations to fight a famine that threatens over 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. In Nigeria alone, upwards of 5 million people face acute food shortages.

In a country of over 170 billion people, there are fewer than 5,000 tractors.

Considering the progress Nigeria has made in food security since the 1980s, the country’s placement on the list is disheartening. While the UN’s efforts might bring temporary relief, the root causes of this famine must be addressed to prevent similar crises in the future. Boko Haram might be partly responsible for this crisis, but the reality is that Nigeria’s famine is worsened by protectionist policies that restrict agricultural trade and force Nigerians to depend on insufficient domestic food production.

Restricted Food Imports

In 1983, Nigeria averaged less than 2,000 calories per person per day. By 1998, Nigeria had caught up to the global average of over 2,630 calories. However, food production has dropped in recent years because Nigerian agriculture is stuck in the past. In a country of over 170 billion people, there are fewer than 5,000 tractors. Traditional small scale farming permeates the food production In Nigeria. Small plots a couple of hectares in size account for 90 percent of domestic food production. With a growing population, such small-scale production has become insufficient.

Read more of this piece at FEE

Nigeria: A missing President and a reeling nation

The most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria is witnessing a tense political and economic situation, along with internal mishaps. On the other hand, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been on a month’s long medical leave. In lieu of this, he has remained out of the country, in the United Kingdom since January 19, 2017. He was supposed to return back to work on the 6th February, 2017. However, in a written statement to the National Assembly, he informed the parliament of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete a pending series of tests recommended by his doctors.

The mysterious disappearance after brokering peace talks in the Gambia and a continued stay in the UK have led to deepening suspicions that his health is far worse than the reports claim. The 74-year- old former military dictator has been dogged by speculation about whether he was physically fit for office even before he took power in May 2015.

Continue reading at The Indian Economist.

Promoting liberty, free society

Over 100 student-leaders from some tertiary institutions gathered at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State to listen to stories that changed lives and the course of events in some institutions.

It was at an event tagged  #ShareYourStory organised by African Students For Liberty (ASFL).

Supported by the United States-based Atlas Network, the event featured speakers from Nigeria, South Africa and Europe. The African Programme Manager of Students For Liberty (SFL), Olumayowa Okediran, led the speakers.

Others were SFL Deputy African Programme Manager Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, CAMPUSLIFE Editor Wale Ajetunmobi, Director of The Bastiat Society Adewale Bankole, an entrepreneurship expert, Bunmi Fadiora, an ASFL Local Coordinator, Lilian David, Martin Van Staden (South Africa) and SFL Programme Director in Europe Yael Ossowski.

The event’s objective was to bring campus leaders together for advocacy on free society and to share practical ideas on how to promote the ideals of tolerance, liberty, entrepreneurship and free markets among students.

In line with the theme of the event, each speaker shared his personal experience and how the ideas of liberty have helped him/her in life pursuits.

Read the full article at Nigeria’s The Nation newspaper.

“African governments: just let gays live”

I was amazed reading Patrick’s story few weeks ago on one of the social media networks. He figured out he was gay at 13, and genuinely thought he was the only boy on the planet who was wired to like other boys.

His whole life, he had been taught that every boy will inevitably start liking girls when they hit puberty. His parents, teachers, sexual education classes, all drilled into his mind this notion that it was only a matter of time until he started getting tingly feelings around girls. So, he waited.

It never happened. His male friends started talking about girls or female celebrities they found attractive. These conversations left him indifferent. He wondered whether he was just a late bloomer or if there was something wrong with him. Then someone brought up the word ‘gay’ (which we’d been using for years as an insult without knowing what it meant) and someone mentioned something about men who are attracted to men. That single comment rocked his entire world. That’s when he realized he had been getting those tingly feelings, except he had been feeling them around boys for a long time.

Read the rest on Your Commonwealth here.

Will Nigerians miss former President Jonathan?

Every May 29 is Democracy Day in Nigeria. It is a day that commemorates the restoration of democracy in Nigeria. Nigeria faces a change of government as President Goodluck Jonathan relinquishes power to President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, who defeated him in the March 28 election.

It was the first time a sitting President lost re-election in the nation. For the outgoing President Jonathan, it marks the end of his six-year administration. Jonathan came to power promising to take Nigeria to greater height through his Transformation Agenda. He assumed office following the death of his predecessor, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.

But, did the nation fare well under his administration? Given the hardship in the twilight of his administration, he may be leaving a bad legacy. In the last few weeks, the country has been in darkness; electricity generation dropped to below 2,000 megawatts. Petrol, a commodity which the nation produces in large quantity, is sold far beyond the fixed pump price because of scarcity. Life has become more unbearable for the people.

Read the rest of the article on Your Commonwealth here.