t is sad to see that in recent times, the cost of food items and other daily commodities are going higher than normal. The irony of this is, as the prices of foodstuffs keep going up, the living standard of the masses keeps plummeting downward because the income, wages, and salary of the workforce remain stagnant or worse still, keep going down due to the present economic difficulties.
Unfortunately, the country has become food-stressed, which has been a major source of concern for everyone, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
High electricity tariffs, fuel, and transportation prices have also been a source of concern in the country.
The government’s efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis; developmental, socioeconomic, and security-related issues militating against millions of Nigerians have now evolved into a severe menace. As a result, the nutritional status of Nigerians has deteriorated significantly and these dietary problems plaguing Nigerians will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the worst.
It is just so disheartening that everyday Nigerians have been victims of the crisis; many people are in danger, women are in severe pain, and children’s stunted growth is jeopardizing their chances of living a decent life.
Food prices in major cities around the country have recently risen dramatically, putting a strain on household budgets.
The country’s insurgencies, particularly in the north, and pockets of opposition in several regions, where most of the country’s critical staple foods are produced, have further exacerbated allegations of astronomic price increases for a variety of foods.
Rice, garri, meat, wheat, yam, and vegetables, to name a few, are all in short supply, putting a strain on consumers who are already struggling to make ends meet.
It is self-evident that a geographical location such as the North-East, which has been a key source of food for other parts of the country, particularly the Southern section, has been affected the hardest by insurgencies.
The foregoing remark is not merely rumour or lip flapping, as approximately 85% of goods consumed in cities like Lagos and other South-West States originate from the North.
In Lagos, Mile 12 market, Ketu market, and Oyingbo market, are just a few examples; on a daily basis, uncountable trucks and lorries make their way to those markets, discharging a variety of farm products, including tomatoes, peppers, onions, yams, and potatoes, as well as livestock.
All of these have a negative impact on the life of Nigerian citizens. Most people’s livelihoods have been impacted by the high cost of food. People can no longer afford proper meals, therefore they eat a variety of non-nutritious foods, leading to malnutrition and the development of nutrition disorders such as marasmus and malignant malnutrition (Kwashiorkor), which are common among ordinary Nigerian children.
This has sparked widespread anxiety that the Federal Government has to wake up and develop a viable and long-term solution to the food issue.
To satisfy the daily expanding demands as the population grows, the triad of Municipal, State, and Federal governments must develop a more enabling environment for increased food production.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of population management in any country. And in a country like Nigeria, where people rely only on one source of income, the numbers are staggering, necessitating the implementation of a control mechanism.
It is self-evident that a community that is continually pummeled by the pangs of hunger as its population index rises will end up in total disaster.
A government that does nothing to address the concerns of population increase is unquestionably on the verge of overpopulation calamity.
In a circumstance like ours, overcrowding is a sure match for igniting a deposit of gun powder in our fragile economy, and this will have a negative impact on our economy’s overall growth, as well as people’s psychological and the nation’s overall well-being.
Nigeria’s nascent population index puts the country’s population at a mind-boggling 200 million people, according to the 2006 census headcount.
Hunger, poverty, unemployment, and genocide have all increased as a result of this population explosion. Many individuals compete for the few resources that are available.
A recent and typical example is the just-concluded JAMB Examination, in which millions of people applied and competed for 30,000 admission seats (JAMB Fact Sheet).
Food and fuel provision, housing, land tenure, and employment are all affected by the diabolical barrage.
The country’s population boom, without a doubt, has overstretched the meager resources available. As a result, it is having a negative impact on all aspects of one’s everyday life. In Nigeria, when a citizen is dependent on one source of income with a limited enabling environment, it is acceptable to argue that a huge population is a precursor for poverty and hostile situations. This difficulty raises the question of why anyone in their right mind would want to have a large family in a country like ours.
The high rate of poverty in Nigeria has prompted many people to engage in criminal activities. Corruption in all areas of life has now become a monster that has outgrown its confines.
Everyone now despises one another, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or politics. This is the perfect time for the administration to sit tight and tie up all loose ends.
With the recent spike in inflationary food prices in the markets, the government at all levels should work on methods to keep food and other market prices under control.
There should be a pressing need to adopt ways to ensure a consistent supply of foods to the market and to reverse the recent price hike.
To start with, the government should subsidize the production of agricultural produce to enable farmers sell to the final consumers at a price to be determined by the government thereby exerting control over their supplies through appropriate Task Force committee.