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Nigeria in League of Hungriest Countries – Obi

The candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, has fired back at those who faulted his criticism of the grains received by Nigeria from Ukraine.

Obi had stated that the gift was a disgrace to Nigeria because a war-torn Ukraine was aiding the country in alleviating hunger.

His words was criticised by many whom he described as government spinners. Doubling down, Obi said Nigeria is in the league of hungriest nations.

He shared on X, “After my comments on the embarrassing grain assistance which Nigeria received from a war-torn Ukraine, some government spinners in defence tried throwing up a comparison pointing at Egypt which also got grain from Ukraine.

“In my remarks I stated that such an offer, though aimed at ameliorating the impact of the food crisis in Nigeria, remains awkward to the nation, considering that we, as a nation with more fertile lands and a working population, now receive aid from a war-ravaged nation like Ukraine. Egypt was particularly mentioned, by the spinners, to have received the same grains from Ukraine long before Nigeria did (September last year).

“And that Egypt is still dependent on Ukraine for its wheat and much of its fertilizer needs. It is important to clarify that over the years, Egypt imports 60% of its grains, out of which about 22% is from Ukraine.

“The imported grain provides half the flour that goes into a subsidized bread program that feeds some 72 million Egyptians daily. Egypt, therefore, just enjoys a business relationship with their grain supplier, Ukraine, whereas, in the case of Nigeria, it was an emergency donation to help us fight a hunger epidemic that has resulted from economic mismanagement. To illustrate further, on the Global Hunger Index, Egypt ranks 57th, while our dear nation ranks 109th, out of 125 countries measured.

“So, while Egypt has a hunger level considered moderate, Nigeria is in the league of 20 hungriest countries in the world, with a hunger level considered serious. Egypt, without facing severe hunger, and not in the list of hungriest nations, exported over 9 Billion dollars of agricultural products in 2023. May I also point out that our grains donor, Ukraine, still maintains a hunger level considered low, with a ranking of 44th on the global hunger index, 7th highest grain producer, exporting almost 23 Billion Dollars, despite years of war! The situation is actually painful because we have all it takes to even surpass Ukraine in grain production if we were a more serious and productive nation.

“The vast arable lands in the North, if put into productive use, will not only give us sufficient food for local consumption, but even the surplus for export.”

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