The Ondo State government has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on rural roads across the country as part of the ways of ensuring food security.
Akin Olotu, the Special Senior Assistant to the Governor on Agric and Agribusiness, made the call at the commemoration of World Food Day on Wednesday, in Akure.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for the 2019 edition of the Day is “Healthy Diets for Zero Hunger World”.
Olotu said that it was worrisome that after the farmers had produced food, they would be hindered from bringing them to the urban centres for sale because of bad roads.
He called for the reconstruction/rehabilitation of at least 20 rural roads in each state by the Federal Government every year, saying this was a matter of urgency to enhance food security.
The governor’s aide called for the bringing back of the defunct Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure to address the challenges of rural roads and food surplus.
Olotu, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the closure of the nation’s border, asked Nigerians to support him in encouraging local production of food.
According to him, the policy may result in short term difficulties, but it will surely benefit the entire Nigerians in the long run.
“When we import food with our population of about 200 million, it means there will be food crisis when we become the third most populated country in the world in years ahead.
“There is no crown without a cross. Japan shut their doors when they wanted to bounce back, and likewise China.
“We have the land, water, manpower, sunlight and everything needed to turn around agriculture, but we need a strong determination to make a difference.
“Therefore, let’s see what we can do locally when our doors are shut. Honestly, I want the border to remain closed for the next two to three years,’’ he stated.
Olotu who noted that food security was the bedrock of all other securities, said that if there was food crisis, the society would be in danger.