The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has mentioned Nigeria as one of the 40 nations across the world in dire need of external sources for food assistance.
Nigeria has been known for her rich agricultural reserve and large output of farm produce. So, this announcement would come as a surprise to many economists and agricultural analysts.
The FAO made this disclosure on Thursday in its latest quarterly report, titled 'Crop Prospects and Food Situation.'
"Nigeria and the other 40 nations need the external assistance to achieve food security, due to the conflicts, which is the primary cause of high levels of food insecurity and adverse weather conditions - particularly rainfall shortages in Africa - acutely affecting food availability and access for millions of people," the statement read.
The countries on the list include 31 African countries which have remained unchanged over the last six months.
The 41 countries currently in need of external food assistance include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo; Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, had told Nigerian governors that the nation spends about $1.2bn to import fish annually and more funds have been allocated to the importation of vegetables and fruits in the last four years. This is shocking news indeed, as Nigeria had one of the largest agricultural reserves in Africa 20 years ago.