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Food Crisis: 82 Million Nigerians May Go Hungry Soon, UN Warns

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The United Nations has again predicted that 82 million Nigerians, about 64 per cent of the country’s population, may go hungry by 2030, calling on the government to tackle climate change, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity.

The prediction comes in the wake of a persistent hike in food prices in the country.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s food inflation rate hit a record high of 40.66 per cent in May 2024, surpassing the previous month’s 40.53 increase.

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This surge represents the largest year-on-year increase in food prices since records began in 1996.

Historically, food inflation in Nigeria has averaged 13.42 per cent, with the lowest point of -17.50 per cent in January 2000.

In 2023, the Food and Agriculture Organisation predicted that no fewer than 2.6 million Nigerians in Borno, Sokoto and Zamfara states, and the FCT may face a food crisis between June and August 2024.

According to a government-led Cadre Harmonisé analysis released in March, 2024, approximately 4.8 million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states are experiencing severe food insecurity, the highest level in seven years.

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Also, as Nigerian workers commemorated the 2024 May Day, Organised Labour expressed concern about the country’s rising food prices and fuel scarcity, saying that the current situation threatened the survival of workers.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, also recently warned that a hunger riot might soon break out in Nigeria, calling on the Federal Government to act fast.

Speaking recently at the launch of CropWatch in Abuja, the Resident Humanitarian Coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, represented by one of the UN officials, Taofiq Braimoh, said, “The government of Nigeria, in collaboration with others, conducts an annual food security survey. This year’s results are alarming: approximately 22 million Nigerians will face food insecurity in 2023, and around 80-82 million are at risk of severe food insecurity by 2030.

“Nigeria, like many countries, grapples with food insecurity, climate change, unreliable water patterns, pest infestations, and other threats to agricultural productivity. As an agrarian society, our farms’ success directly impacts food availability for our population. Leveraging technology is crucial to strengthening our agriculture sector and ensuring food security.”

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He stressed that satellite-based crop monitoring provided real-time data on crop conditions, enabling farmers and policymakers to make informed decisions and optimise agricultural practices.

He noted that the technology could help expedite the accomplishment of sustainable development goals in food and agriculture.

‘Climate change fuelling high hunger rate’

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An agricultural economist from the Centre for Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Tobi Awolope, attributed the high hunger rate in Nigeria to climate change, which has severely affected smallholder farmers, the main players in food production.

Awolope, who spoke to our correspondent on Friday, noted that those farmers had a low adaptive capacity to cope with the effects of climate change, such as irregular rainfall patterns and lack of irrigation.

“Climate change has reversed the progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2, which aim to eradicate poverty and hunger. Smallholder farmers are struggling to adapt to the changing climate, and this has led to declining food availability and rising prices,” she said.

She emphasised the need for government support for farmers, including subsidising production inputs, and providing technology and irrigation assistance.

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“Farmers cannot mitigate the effects of climate change alone. The government needs to step in and support them to ensure food security,” she stated.

Awolope also stressed the importance of utilising research recommendations to inform policy decisions, saying, “This is not the time to leave research output on the shelf. We need to use those recommendations to make informed decisions that will support our farmers and ensure food availability.”

Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr Adepoju Mathew, highlighted the importance of science, technology, and innovation in advancing agricultural development and food security.

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“The world population is projected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, and food production must increase by 70 per cent to meet this demand.

“Space science, technology, and innovation play a crucial role in transforming agriculture and enhancing food security,” he added.

UN report reflects real situation— Farmers

Speaking with The PUNCH, the National Secretary of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Dr Yinusu Alidu, said the UN report should be taken seriously, noting that it reflects the real situation in the country.

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He said, “What the UN said is trending at the moment, because it reflects the real situation in the country. It is not magic; the UN is only gathering reports, and speaking to the current situation. They are using global warming, climate change, insecurity, and other factors to make the report. People like us on the field know already that the UN’s report is becoming real.

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“This is July and there is not enough rain yet. Weather forecast experts have predicted that there is going to be a drought. They predicted that there was going to be a short rain period, and that rain may not fall after August. They advised farmers to plant crops that will yield and mature fast. If not, the crops will be stunted and will not yield well. If people use conventional modes of planting, their farms will be affected by drought.”

Alidu urged the government to act on the report to prevent a food crisis.

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He said, “It is the responsibility of the government to prevent a food crisis. The government should encourage irrigation farming systems. The government needs to create dams and channel waste water for farming purposes. Water is being wasted a lot. This is the right time for the government to be serious about off-season farming. Seventy per cent of crops grown in Nigeria are planted with direct rain; few people use irrigation systems. The government has a responsibility to make farming easy for farmers. They should support the irrigation system.

“I don’t know why the government is taking a lackadaisical approach to farming. Maybe they believe they have the money to buy anything they want, regardless of the price, because they have money. What about the average Nigerian? I would only advise farmers to be smart and fast in farming.”

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‘UN report reflection of govt failure’

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Also speaking with our correspondent, the President of Integrated Agricultural Services, South-West, Mr Adeyemi Adejare, described the UN’s report as a pointer to the government’s failures in supporting agriculture and farmers.

Adejare said Nigeria was already witnessing a shortage of food, saying only aggressive farming could help Nigeria out of the crisis.

He said, “The only way to avert the UN’s prediction is to engage in aggressive farming, and get genuine support from the government. Nigeria is facing food insecurity already, so we can’t shy away from what the UN said. It is a pointer to the government’s failure to support agriculture.

“The food industries and our farming system must reach a sustainable level to avert the prediction, and that requires a holistic approach. We need to discard the old farming, storing, and processing systems. Government at all levels must be genuinely committed to promoting agriculture.

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“The government must empower farmers and encourage mechanised farming for the youth. The government must also provide soft loans and subsidise farming inplements for genuine farmers.”

Adejare noted that the UN report was correct, adding that the nation must take proactive actions to end food insecurity.

He said, “The UN report is correct. Currently, it will take Nigeria 30 uninterrupted farming and harvesting seasons to achieve food security, because of the shortage we have already.

“The government has not been fair to farmers. The northern farmers are enjoying little benefits from the government, but the South-West governors are not helping the farmers at all. The governors have not been helpful; they have been paying lip service to the promotion of agriculture.”

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Elon Musk Opens Up About His Transgender Child

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The CEO of Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk, has said he was “tricked” into granting permission for his child to undergo puberty blockers.

Musk made the disclosure in a live interview with psychologist Jordan Peterson on X on Monday.

During the conversation, Peterson mentioned Musk’s decision to relocate SpaceX’s headquarters from California, citing the state’s new legislation, Assembly Bill 1955, which enables schools to keep a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity confidential from their parents.

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This move came after California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed the bill into law on Monday, July 15, 2024.

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When Peterson asked the owner of X about his motivation for speaking out on this issue, Musk shared a personal experience involving his child, Xavier, who now identifies as transgender and goes by the name Vivian Jenna Wilson.

Musk stated, “It’s evil. You’re taking kids who are far below the age of consent.

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“It’s very possible for adults to manipulate children who are having an actual identity crisis into believing that they are the wrong gender.”

Musk disclosed, “Well, it happened to one of my older boys. I was essentially tricked into signing documents for one of my older boys, Xavier. This was really before I had any understanding of what was going on, and we had COVID going on, so there was a lot of confusion. And I was told Xavier might commit suicide.”

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Peterson, challenging the notion, said, “That was a lie right from the outset. No reliable clinician ever believed that.

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“There was never any evidence for that, and also, if there is a higher suicide rate, the reason is the underlying depression and anxiety and not because of the gender dysphoria. And every god-d*** clinician knows that, too, and they’re too cowardly to come out and say it.”

Continuing, Musk said, “It’s incredibly evil. And I agree with you that the people that are promoting this should go to prison.

I fully endorse Trump, wish him rapid recovery – Elon Musk
“I was tricked into doing this. It wasn’t explained to me that puberty blockers are actually just sterilization drugs.

READ ALSO: Billionaire Businessman Elon Musk Joins Leading American Media

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“I lost my son, essentially. They call it ‘deadnaming’ for a reason. The reason they call it ‘deadnaming’ is because your son is dead, so my son, Xavier, is dead, killed by the woke mind virus.”

“So I vowed to destroy the woke mind virus after that. And we’re making some progress.”

According to a preprint study published by the Mayo Clinic earlier this year, puberty blockers have been linked to irreversible long-term fertility issues in boys, contradicting previous claims that the effects are reversible, as reported by Fox News.

The Mayo Clinic website states that puberty blockers, specifically GnRH analogues, are used to pause puberty in transgender and gender-diverse youth. These medications work by stopping the production of sex hormones, effectively halting physical changes associated with puberty

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Daily Mail reports that Vivian Musk, formerly known as Xavier, publicly announced her transgender identity in June 2022, at the age of 18.

At the same time, she petitioned to legally change her name to Vivian and adopt her mother’s surname.

“I no longer want to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form,” Vivian said.

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Last week, Musk announced plans to relocate the headquarters of SpaceX and X to Texas, after a new California law that prohibits schools from forcing teachers to inform parents about changes to a student’s gender identity

“This is the final straw. Because of this law and the many others that preceded it, attacking both families and companies, SpaceX will now move its HQ from Hawthorne, California, to Starbase, Texas,” Musk wrote on X.

During the interview on Monday, Musk disclosed that he had previously told the governor that he would relocate his company if the bill was signed into law, indicating that his decision to move the headquarters was not a spontaneous reaction.

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JUST IN: 58 Countries Back Okonjo-Iweala For Second Term As WTO DG

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Fifty-eight of the 164 member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) members have voiced support for a proposal from the African Group backing incumbent Director General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to serve a second term.

The 58 member countries of the trade association made this known at a July 22 meeting of the WTO General Council, according to a statement by the world trade body.

“The African Group requests that the current Director-General make herself available to serve a second term, and has proposed that the process of reappointing the Director-General should be started as soon as possible,” the statement partly read.

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“Fifty-eight members, several speaking on behalf of groups of members, took the floor to comment and express their support for the African Group proposal. They called on DG Okonjo-Iweala to make her intentions regarding a second term known as soon as possible. Most of these members praised the DG’s hard work and her achievements during her first term.”

Okonjo-Iweala, 70, said she was very grateful for the support from members. “Everything that I’ve accomplished, we’ve accomplished together,” she said.

The director general said that she took the call of members very seriously and was favourably inclined. She said she would get back to members very soon regarding her intentions.

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Okonjo-Iweala, the seventh WTO boss, took office on March 1, 2021 for a single term of four years which will expire on August 31, 2025. She is eligible for a second term.

The former Nigerian Finance Minister navigated stiff opposition to become the first woman and the first African to serve as WTO Director-General. Before her current appointment, she twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015. She also briefly acted as Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions.

The skilled negotiator had a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the number two position of Managing Director, Operations.

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Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs In The World 2024

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The pursuit of lucrative careers often drives professional aspirations. With technological advancements and globalization reshaping industries, some professions command exceptional salaries that reflect their critical importance and specialized skill sets.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional seeking a career shift or a recent graduate planning your future, understanding which roles offer the highest financial rewards can guide your career decisions.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 highest-paying jobs around the globe, per report from Nexford.

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1. Cardiologist
Role: Specializes in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree; medical school; residency in internal medicine; board certification in cardiology.
Average Salary: $324,760

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2. Surgeon

Role: Performs surgical procedures to treat diseases and conditions.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree; medical school; residency; medical license; board certification.
Average Salary: $297,851

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3. Psychiatrist
Role: Specializes in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses and emotional disorders.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree; medical school; residency in psychiatry; medical license; board certification.
Average Salary: $255,812

4. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Role: Oversees company operations, makes major corporate decisions, and communicates with the board of directors.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in business or related field; advanced degrees like an MBA; extensive experience in leadership and strategic planning.
Average Salary: $197,747

5. Senior Software Engineer
Role: Designs, implements, and maintains complex software systems.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science; expertise in programming languages like Java, Python, or C++; experience with frameworks and version control systems.
Average Salary: $194,220

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6. Corporate Lawyer

Role: Provides legal advice and services to businesses on various legal matters.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree; law school and JD; bar exam; specialization in corporate law.
Average Salary: $149,686

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7. Investment Banker

Role: Facilitates financial transactions, advises on strategies, manages mergers, and raises capital.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in finance or related field; securities licenses; understanding of financial markets; certifications like CFA recommended.
Average Salary: $144,633

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8. Cloud Architect

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Role: Designs and manages cloud computing architecture.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or IT; relevant certifications (e.g., AWS, Azure); skills in IaC tools and cloud networking.
Average Salary: $144,000

9. Internet of Things (IoT) Architect

Role: Designs and implements the architecture of IoT systems.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field; proficiency in programming languages; knowledge of networking, embedded systems, and IoT security.
Average Salary: $131,646

10. Petroleum Engineer

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Role: Specializes in the exploration, extraction, and production of oil and natural gas.
Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or related field; internships; knowledge of programming and simulation tools; certification.
Average Salary: $130,523

Source: VANGUARD

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