Drought: Expert warns Nigeria against food scarcity

The Vice-Chairman, South-West Zone of the Agriculture and Allied Employees’ Union of Nigeria, Blessing Oladele, has asked the Federal Government to heed the warning given by Nigeria Meteorological Agency that the country may experience food scarcity due to low rainfall in 2015.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, Oladele said the low rainfall experienced in the South-West and North, known to be agriculture zones, called for serious concern.

He said his union would soon map out strategies on how to partner Governors in the South-West to diversify the economy and improve farming, especially the stomach infrastructure policy of Governor Ayodele Fayose.

Oladele said, “The states in the South-West, particularly Ekiti, have very low rainfall this year and it has started manifesting. So, our governments must invest in our dams, so that we can have irrigation projects that can respond to this kind of situation.

“My task is to ensure that agriculture is repositioned in the South-West, and we shall achieve that. I am encouraging members of all the unions, including the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, to invest in farming and we are receiving warm reception.

“Fayose’s stomach infrastructure policy has become a brand and we have to embrace it. The only alternative to our economic survival now is farming, which is food production, and we have to live by that reality.”

Oladele urged the Federal Government to “seek alternative means of water supply to boost food production by investing hugely in irrigation projects across the country.

Meanwhile, the Wurno Local Government in Sokoto State has said it will soon evacuate no fewer than 10,000 people from 20 flood-prone communities in the area.

The Caretaker Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Shehu Chacho, disclosed this to newsmen at Wurno on Wednesday shortly after an emergency meeting convened to discuss the notice on the planned release of excess water from Goronyo dam by the Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority.

He listed the affected communities to include Gidan-Kamba, Gidan-Bango one and two, ‘Yar-Wurnoni, Gidan-Modu, Lahodu, Tunga, Barayara Zaki, and Arba.

“The people in all these communities will have to be evacuated to primary schools, government quarters and other government buildings.”