Matthias Schmale, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, has urgently called for action to address the widespread problem of food insecurity in the country. He emphasized the need to revitalize Nigeria’s food systems and praised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent declaration of food security as a national emergency. Schmale viewed this declaration as a positive step towards tackling the challenges posed by increasing food prices and shortages.
In anticipation of the Africa Social Impact Summit, which is organized by the Sterling One Foundation in collaboration with the UN in Nigeria, Schmale issued a statement. He urged all relevant stakeholders to come together and develop a comprehensive rescue plan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The summit, scheduled for August 10 and 11 in Lagos, offers a crucial opportunity for federal and state governments, the private sector, development partners, and other critical stakeholders to collaborate on innovative solutions. These efforts aim to instill new hope, especially for the most vulnerable citizens, in the face of the food security crisis.
“We hope the recent declaration on food security brings meaningful investment into Agriculture to tackle the current challenges,” stated Schmale. He further asserted that Nigeria has the capacity to feed itself and should focus on sustainable agricultural production instead of relying solely on international food aid.
In light of the recent removal of fuel subsidies, which has resulted in a rise in the cost of goods and services, Matthias Schmale emphasized the United Nations’ willingness to assist the Nigerian government in devising effective palliative measures. Furthermore, the UN aims to collaborate with the government in establishing sustainable strategies to promote agricultural production, thus mitigating the impacts of economic changes.
The Africa Social Impact Summit holds a pivotal position in the lead-up to the global SDG Summit scheduled for September 2030 in New York. Schmale underscored that the upcoming SDG Summit provides world leaders with a global platform to go beyond mere rhetoric and take concrete actions. He warned that without urgent and sustained efforts to build upon positive initiatives, the 2030 Agenda might remain an unfulfilled promise to the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Abubakar Suleiman, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, expressed excitement about the growth and impact of the Africa Social Impact Summit. He acknowledged that the summit has gained significant momentum and has proven to be an effective platform for translating available capital and resources into meaningful and sustainable impacts within the development ecosystem.
Adepeju Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling One Foundation, revealed that the previous edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit had surpassed expectations in terms of attendance, outcomes, and impact on the development ecosystem. With the upcoming summit focused on addressing critical issues like food insecurity, attendees are optimistic about fostering collaboration and implementing tangible solutions.
As the Africa Social Impact Summit unfolds, all attention is on the collective efforts and commitments of stakeholders to accelerate progress toward achieving the SDGs by 2030. The summit stands as a beacon of hope for the most vulnerable citizens, paving the way for a more secure and sustainable future for Nigeria.