By Dons Eze, PhD on 19/03/2021

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 1,596

My wife returned home from the market the other day and announced that a painter of garri, which is about 19 cups, now sells for N1,100. I was shocked, completely taken aback. I don't usually go to market, so I wouldn't know how much garri, or any other food item sells.

This is the month of March. We have not yet entered the planting season when many food items would go off the shelves, and it would take another three to four months before new farm crops are to be harvested. This means that the price of garri would continue to go up. It is possible that a painter of garri would sell for N2,000, or even more, before new farm products are harvested.

Consider an average family of between six to eight members, how would they be feeding? If they are to feed on garri alone for about one week, they may be spending up to N8,000, for two meals a day. In one month, it would be about N32,000. We have not talked about soup ingredients, which I was made to understand, cost even more. This is in a country where the minimum wage is N30,000 a month, for some states that are paying; where pensioners have been forgotten; and where millions of people roam the streets without job.

As the price of garri is going up, so also are prices of other foodstuffs like yam, potato, rice, beans, maize, ground pea (okpa), onions, tomatoes, etc. For most Nigerians, garri is the commonest food item on the table, and since this is becoming unaffordable, it then means that many people are suffering. 

The National Bureau of Statistics has just released figures showing that Nigeria’s inflation rate is in upward trend, rising from 15.75 percent in December 2020, to 16.47 percent in January this year. According to the NBS, Nigeria’s headline inflation has risen to its highest in over three years, while food inflation rose to its highest since July 2008, when it stood at 20.9 percent.

Nigeria's food index, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, rose sharply to a record high of 20.5 percent in January this year, compared to 19.5 percent, recorded  the previous month, December 2020. This actually has confirmed my wife's report about sharp increase in prices of garri and other foodstuffs in the market.

When we sought to know the reason for this increase in prices of food commodities, we found out that it was not due to the recent failed food boycott by the North against the South. It was also not because our farmers have suddenly become lazy and would no longer go to farm.

We discovered that the reason was primarily due to the activities of Fulani herdsmen, who have turned into another terrorist organization. Many people who would have been going to their farms no longer do so for fear of the ubiquitous presence of Fulani herdsmen and their cattle, who have taken over everywhere. These marauders would kidnap, kill, maim, and rape any woman on sight.

Those who tried to brave it, who had attempted to go to their farms, were met with calamitous consequences. They were kidnapped, butchered, killed, raped, and had their farmlands and farm crops destroyed, houses and farmlands burnt down, etc.

Since the federal government is not doing anything meaningful to protect them, but appears to be more interested in protecting Fulani herders and their cattle, the people have no option than to stay off from their farms.

This is the predicament of many farmers in the country, and which is responsible for their abandoning their farmlands. Better to keep their heads intact, than lose them in the name of trying to grow farm crops, which they may not even live to eat, or to sell and make money. Those who had managed to plant some crops had had these crops eaten up or completely destroyed by cattle, and the government would not do anything.

The resultant effect is the abandonment of farmlands by many farmers, which now leads to continuos increase in prices of foodstuffs, and the consequent effect of hunger in the land.

Many Nigerians are suffering, and have been going on empty stomachs. When the federal government makes noise about increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, and asks people to protect themselves from being infected by the disease, nobody seems to be interested. The people are more concerned in what they would put inside their stomachs. Nigerians are dying in their numbers, not from COVID-19, but due to frustrations and hopelessness that stare them in the face, that is to say, the difficulty in accessing their daily bread.

In 1983, former Nigerian Transport Minister, Umaru Dikko, said that Nigerians were not suffering, because they were not picking meals from the dustbins. This time around, there is practically nothing to pick from the dustbin, because majority of the people do not have anything to eat, let alone have any left over to be thrown into the dustbin.

The federal government should therefore wake up from slumber and rise to their responsibility of protecting lives and properties. They should protect the farmers from incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen, to enable them return to the farms and begin to cultivate food for the teeming population of the country. This is how to guarantee food security, and ward off hunger that is starring many Nigerians in the face.

Dr. Dons Eze, KSJI

Posted 19/03/2021 06:48:23 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


You may also like...
Flee from cultism, drug abuse, NYSC warns corps...

Police charge Kogi commissioner to court over alleged...

North sinking under your watch – 17 Northern...

Gumi reacts to Fani-Kayode’s defection to APC, calls...

ECTDA accuses Enugu Assembly Committee of demanding bribe...

PDP clears Enugu Council Polls

Gunmen abduct Edo APC chairman

Sit-at-home: Gunmen burn motorcycle, tricycle in Nsukka

I took N7bn loan to pay May salaries,...

Bandits kill Assistant Commissioner of Police in Katsina...

Ortom offers automatic employment to 2 children of...

Biafra: Fani-Kayode reveals Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts


Latest News IPOB raises alarm over illegal DSS profiling, abduction of Igbo passengers at airports Why we can’t generate 5,000mw of power – Minister Seven family members die of food poisoning in Zamfara IPMAN threatens to shut down depots in South East Zone over Police harassment THE ADVOCATE, Leading Nigeria Online Newspaper is Rebranding Yahaya Bello orders closure of brothels, bans use of face masks in Kogi ‘US kills terrorists, Nigeria pampers them’ - Femi Fani-Kayode Residents flee as unknown gunmen kill 7 in Imo Suspect who beat Nigerian to death in Italy arrested 2023: Lalong, Oshiomhole lead APC’s campaign team Bandits: We’ll continue to fight for justice – Southern Kaduna 2023: Obi support group slams Tinubu for wishing Peter Obi and supporters dead, tells INEC to call him to order


Most Read Fleeing ex-DG Imo Broadcasting Corporation who stabbed wife to death arrested (435,958 views) Ebonyi bans embalming of corpses in homes (435,957 views) Ex-Heads of State will protect Jonathan from persecution —Kukah (435,957 views) FG sends new directive to banks, schools as Buhari extends lockdown by four weeks (435,957 views) Ugwuanyi commends FG’s siting of ICT University in Enugu (435,956 views) Sickle cell support group seeks government intervention (435,956 views) Full Text of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s 2016 Budget Speech (435,956 views) ASUU strike: Senate intervention ends in deadlock (435,955 views) I’ve no Coronavirus, govt wants to kill me – Anambra Index case (435,955 views) HUSHPUPPI: CRIMINALS HAVE NO TRIBE. THEY SHAME ALL OF US... (427,928 views) DEMOCRACY DAY: President Muhammadu Buhari’s full speech (364,076 views) All you need to know about Peter Obi, PDP VP Candidate (362,970 views)






There are no video entries posted yet.