By Aaron Ossai
As Nigeria and other African countries continue to battle food insecurity, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has stressed the need for the continent to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
The Vice President, who spoke at the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments in Abuja yesterday, challenged African countries to strive hard to ensure that they produce what they eat and reduce their dependence on external countries.
He observed that the war in Ukraine has affected the importation of maize and wheat from the country stressing that Africa should be prepared at all times to ensure that it did not depend on other countries for what it eats.
Osinbajo recalled that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe also brought about food insecurity in the continent and noted that there is the need for increased collaboration in handling issues in Africa.
Speaking further, the Vice President remarked that institutions like parliaments needed strong leadership saying “if there has ever been a time where strong parliaments are needed, it is now.”
According to him, the African continent handled the COVID-19 pandemic well, adding, however, that the social and economic impacts of the pandemic were still being felt.
“The pandemic exposed the vulnerability of our health system; we must collectively invest in our health system so that we are better prepared to handle our health issues,’’ the VP stated.
He stated that the pandemic revealed the importance of social protection schemes, adding that Africa must leverage on the pandemic experience for more effective and inclusive health systems adding that the pandemic also exposed Africa to lapses in technology and said it was important for the legislature to leverage on technology.