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Panorama: Food Insecurity: The Truth President Buhari Must Accept



By Sani Sa’idu Baba

My dear country men and women, I was honestly moved by the report of the United Nations on the persistent food price rise in Nigeria in October. It is indeed a red flag and early sign of the inevitable, especially as farmers are already crying over reduced yield due to cessation of rainfall occasioned by climate change. Whatever the case, Nigerians are likely to suffer in the remaining part of the year and beyond unless an urgent miracle happens.

To say it as it is, failure of leadership has undoubtedly contributed to food shortage in Nigeria. This reminds me of a very captivating statement by John F. Kennedy, one of America’s most loved and flamboyant presidents, that: “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” With a little modification, you’d think Kennedy was referring to Nigeria of the 21st century under President Muhammadu Buhari. Just super-impose ‘Buhari’ where ‘nation’ is, and you’d be right on point. But in place of ‘a nation that is afraid of its people’, simply put ‘a leader that does not intimate but intimidate his people’. That seems to be what our president continuously throws on our faces. He never find out what the true situation is, only to receive unverified reports by the power mongers around him that everything is alright. It is still painful to remember what the former Minister of Agriculture said that N30 food can still satisfy a hungry adult in Nigeria. For Buhari, however, every Nigerian has a vote to cast, though some votes are more important than the others. Because it is obvious in Nigeria today that only certain class of people is entitled to food and good living.

According to World Bank (2001), food security is of three folds, these are food availability, food accessibility and food affordability. This triad of food security is by far above which the common man could cater for in Nigeria. No doubt, food is life. Hence, food has become an instrument of national power. It is within that need for food that I write to take a cursory look at the issue in all its ramifications.

There is no doubt that the previous administration under President Jonathan had scored good marks in the area of agriculture with his effective transformation policy in the sector. Although some has attributed that to the then Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, now the President of African Development Bank. But no matter what it was, Jonathan has indisputably earned the credit. However, recent developments in the present Buhari’s administration, especially the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the predominantly farming areas of the North central region, resulting in the destruction of lives and farmlands, have become a major threat to efforts to boost food production. It is worthy of note that Buhari’s ministers of agriculture in the last six years; Audu Obe and Sabo Nanono, both in their 80s have been adjudged the worst in terms of performance in the history of Nigeria agricultural ministry. Perhaps that has made the situation worst under Buhari. From Benue to Taraba, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau in the North Central region and Zamfara and Kaduna States in the North West, clashes between farmers and herdsmen, and the increasing rate of banditry and kidnappings have left in its trail heavy losses of lives and property. These losses of lives have adversely affected farming activities and other related businesses. This has resulted in a drastic reduction in farm products, a development that has heightened the fear of hunger. Already, most farmers in the affected states have abandoned their farms for fear of being attacked by the criminals.

As a result, there is growing fears of insecurity over the past few months in the country, and this has been fueled by lack of stable supply of food,, and rising food prices. Prices of essential commodities and food products have skyrocketed making them unaffordable for the common man. This has been attributed to seemingly impractical policies of the federal government. The price of rice, for instance, has hit an all time high to about N30,000 per bag, triggering panic across the country. There is also increase in prices of other staple products, thereby aggravating the woes of the common man. Shortage of products and ever-increasing prices have created sentiments across communities, dampening the country’s efforts to end poverty. There are estimates that more than 65 per cent of the Nigerian population is food-insecure. Unfortunately, the government has made no effort at price control laws that will help eliminate the deeply rooted corrupt practices among the people.

I did not forget that the Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged the North-east for more than a decade, a region that immensely helped in food production in Nigeria, and the pockets of conflicts in some states where basic food items for the nation come from are making food commodity prices like beef, fruits and vegetables to rise, thus further masticating modest wage earners. It is axiomatic to posit that the Northern region of the country has remained a major source of food supply to other parts of the country, especially the South. To be sure, huge percentage of food items consumed in Lagos and other South and Eastern states come from the North. For example, Ketu, Mile 12 and Oyingbo markets in Lagos, all get supplies from the North on a daily basis as countless trucks are seen unloading quantities of onions, tomatoes, pepper, fruits, potatoes, yams, vegetables and the likes at these markets. But this is no longer the case as the general insecurity in the Northern part of Nigeria is adversely affecting farmers in the area. Fewer trucks now go to the South these days, because of the crisis, and this is adversely affecting prices of food.

The effects of the crisis in the North is already being felt, not only by the consumers but the traders as well who depend on supplies from the North for their business. Expectedly, the cost of foodstuffs, especially pepper and tomatoes has hit the roof. As reported on a television programme, housewives now complain that N500.00 worth of pepper for instance is no longer enough for a pot of soup for a family of four. While transporters are afraid to go to the North because of insecurity, Northern farmers are groaning too as traders from the South have not been going up North to buy the produce. Most crop farmers and those dealing in livestock in the North are fleeing their land en masse and migrating to neighbouring countries because of the crisis. In September 2013, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) warned that Sahel States in Northern Nigeria are faced with severe food insecurity, and here we are today. The release mentions, “Poor families have used up their food stocks and are facing high food prices awaiting the next harvest.” Alarmingly, as at 2013, it pointed out that over 1.4 million children in the region are at risk of severe malnutrition in 2013. In certain products regrettably, the country’s ambitious Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) seems to have been hijacked by unscrupulous operators across the country’s borders.

However, other issues are equally accountable for Nigeria’s emergent food insecurity. Decades of bad policies, particularly in the agricultural sector, have taken a huge toll on the economy, with serious consequences on national development. Worst among the bad policies affecting the agricultural sector is government’s insensitivity to the needs of the rural areas. Prominent among these is lack of infrastructural development and incentives e.g loan for farmers. This invariably results in rural-urban migration. Also, the agricultural sector has witnessed a pattern of undercapitalization over a period of three decades, accounting for the sector’s poor performance and thus fueling  of food insecurity in Nigeria. Above all, the recent policy of border closure by the Buhari administration has made issues worst, though it is still being debated.

The nation’s food security policy, in order to succeed, should adequately address, inter alia, those constraints that have been identified above. First, the problem of poor infrastructure in the nation can be tackled through increased investments in rural roads constructions, with a view to reducing transportation costs, and improve access to inputs and marketing of outputs. This should be complemented by similar investments in communications, electrification, healthcare and schools. Second, the prevailing dearth of appropriate technology can be improved upon by strengthening capacity to generate location-specific technology adaptable to the agro-ecosystems that are prevalent in the country, as well as creating the enabling environment for researcher/extension/farmer and rural finance policy linkages through information dissemination.

Third, of course no one can dispute the fact that the government has injected billions of Naira into agriculture, but that has been hijacked by bad elements and corrupt politicians in the system, thereby rendering government’s effort highly ineffective. This informed the need for collaborative efforts of the private sector of the economy. In this regard, the government should provide the enabling environment through the creation of investment incentives and formulation of policies, which would help to enhance the production of food and purchasing power of the poor to attract businesses to rural areas. For instance, Nigeria is blessed with abundant of land, forests that has never been cultivated before, where those criminal elements hides. The government can invite international companies from many countries in respect of varieties of products that we need in Nigeria and even Africa. A company for example will possess 50% share, the government will possess only 25% and the remaining 25% to be acquired by our resident business tycoons and also to be sell as shares to Nigerians. This will help create employment, reduce insecurity in the country, and eliminate the corruption that hijacked agricultural sector in Nigeria and most importantly secure huge production beyond our local consumption capacity.

Lastly, the president should OPEN NIGERIA’s BORDERS as a matter of urgency, if security of lives is truly his priority. This will help block the unstoppable consequences of food shortage and secure the 3As of food security.

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Voice of Emancipation: Nigeria’s New President




By Kayode Emola

In less than 48 hours Nigeria will welcome a new President, charged with handling its affairs for the next four years. Yet among the many challenges awaiting the new president, whether Nigeria itself can even survive another four years remains to be seen. There is no doubt that the Tinubu/Shettima presidency will need more than courage to keep Nigeria united for the full duration of their elected term.

Only time will tell whether Tinubu and Shettima will be sworn in come May 29, or whether we will instead have an interim government. However, one thing of which we are certain is that the era of Muhammad Buhari is over, never to be experienced again. Those who have survived living under Buhari’s misrule in Nigeria for the last eight years deserve an award for endurance.

We must not allow the expected swearing-in of a Yoruba man as Nigeria’s president on Monday 29 to make us complacent. Indeed, my Yoruba people, our task has just doubled.

Nigeria’s future is now looking more imperiled than ever before. The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) are already threatening to declare their own independent Biafra nation if Tinubu is sworn in come May 29. And the Biafra campaigners are not the only disgruntled people within the country. The vast majority of our Yoruba people and even the Hausa people are becoming embittered with the trajectory Nigeria has taken since independence. At this point now, the new president must decide if Nigeria will continue as it is, or ask the indigenous people to decide their future.

It is increasingly evident that Nigeria is not a sustainable venture, and that a trading post cannot become a country that can endure the test of time. The people within Nigeria never decided to unite and become a country, so trying to hold them to ransom can never succeed.

I will therefore urge the incoming president to rethink his policies if he has not thought about a peaceful way in which Nigeria’s dissolution can be established. Powering through and hoping that he can hold Nigeria together like his predecessor Buhari did will definitely not stand the test of time.

To my fellow Yoruba people who are singing hallelujah that a Yoruba man is going to be president. I want us to know that just as Buhari is leaving the Presidential seat come Monday 29, Tinubu will also not be president for life. When he leaves what will be the fate of the Yoruba people or the other nationalities that makes up Nigeria.

At this juncture in our history, it would be the time to give the indigenous peoples of Nigerians the opportunity to determine their future in a constitutional conference. Nigeria has gone past its due date and must now be prepared for decommissioning just like several countries such as Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc has done in the past. If not, a dysfunctional disengagement may lead to utter chaos if not another civil considering the damage the country is currently doing to the lives of millions of frustrated youths. The rate of poverty is not abating with the currency being devalued on a daily basis putting more strain on the people’s finances

The handlers of Nigeria must acknowledge that the unitary system being practiced in Nigeria has utterly failed the people. The people must now be handed a lifeline in order to salvage a future for themselves and their future generations. Anything short of that may mean Nigeria may go the way other African countries such as Somalia and South Sudan etc have divided with years of bitter civil war which has resulted in the loss of millions of innocent lives.

Yoruba people should not shout ‘Uhuru’ yet because one of us is sitting in ‘Aso rock’. If history has thought us anything, whoever becomes president of Nigeria is there for themselves and not necessarily representing their constituents. That Tinubu will be president does not stop the call for an independent Yoruba nation, if anything, the call for an independent Yoruba nation should now become louder and clearer to send a strong signal to the local and international communities that the Yoruba people have finally made up their mind to leave Nigeria.

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DNV: Namibia Welcomes First Digital Nomads




By Dolapo Aina

According to Citizen Remote, “A digital nomad visa is a temporary permit that allows visitors to stay in a country while they work remotely. Multiple countries offer these sorts of visas, and most of them have a duration of twelve months, with the possibility to extend your stay. While they may not be for everyone, a digital nomad visa allows many remote workers to travel the world while they work from the comfort of their computers. They also help the countries impulse their economy by having foreigners stay for extended periods.”

Several benefits and fallouts of having digital nomads in a country include but not limited to positive country branding by the digital nomads who are residents in their host country. Digital nomads tend to amplify messages the host country might have been trying to get across to potential travellers. On the African Continent, only a few countries have latched on to Digital Nomads and Digital Nomad visas (and it is noteworthy to state that some African countries might not term it Digital Nomad Visas but have something in that guise.)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant fallouts, digital nomads and remote work have increased exponentially globally and in Africa particularly.

According to the Harvard School of Business, with the global shift towards remote work over the past three years, approximately forty-seven countries have developed digital nomad visa programmes. On the African Continent, a few countries offer Digital Nomad Visa. These countries are and in no particular order: Cape Verde, Mauritius, Namibia and Seychelles. Other countries on the African Continent have something within this category but officially, it is designated as Digital Nomad Visa.

On Tuesday, 9th of May 2023, Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board announced and welcomed Namibia’s first Digital Nomads.

According to a statement signed by Ms. Catherine Shipushu, who is the senior manager: Marketing, Branding and Communications of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, “Namibia officially recorded her first digital nomads just five months after the official launch of the country’s Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) on 11 October 2022. The programme was launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration and Security (MHAISS) and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), with the aim of enhancing economic activity in the country. The first two digital nomad visa applications were approved on Tuesday, 14 February 2023.”

The statement further revealed that the Digital Nomad Visa programme aims to capitalise on the growing global remote workforce by offering location-independent foreign professionals the chance to live, work, and experience Namibia for up to six months. These digital nomads contribute towards the country’s economy by injecting foreign currency in the ecosystem, but without usurping jobs meant for Namibians. Early results are encouraging, with over 121 enquiries about the programme recorded so far. Of this number a total of 20 applications were received, out of which nine were approved, with five rejections. The reasons for rejection were made known to include; applicants who do not meet the income requirements of two thousand dollars per month, and are thus unable to prove that they can effectively sustain themselves while in Namibia. Other applications were rejected because they were submitted while the applicants were already in Namibia on a different legal status such as a Tourist Visa, or they arrived in the country before approval of their application.

According to Ms. Catherine Shipushu; “The launch of the Digital Nomad Visa earned Namibia international praise, from Cape Town to Germany and as far as Australia. Additionally, we have witnessed a surge in queries and applications for the DNV through our website, further demonstrating the growing global interest. This demonstrates Namibia’s potential to harness the digital nomad trend and create new opportunities for local businesses in the tourism and information and communication technologies support sectors. As an effective marketing tool for Namibia, the DNV program has also created visibility through digital nomads documenting and sharing their experiences on social media and other mass media platforms, showcasing the nation’s natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and hospitality. This increased visibility has the potential to help attract more tourists, investors, and talent, further stimulating the nation’s economic growth and development.”

It is said that, by design, the Digital Nomad Visa complements, rather than competes with, the local workforce, ensuring digital nomads bring their own remote jobs or freelance projects to Namibia. This approach benefits the Namibian economy and its people while creating an environment for local entrepreneurs and professionals to expand their networks, learn from their international counterparts, and explore new avenues for collaboration.

Dolapo Aina reached out to Ms. Catherine Shipushu (senior manager: Marketing, Branding and Communications of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, in the Office of The Presidency) for more clarifications and insights.

On the abovementioned statement that the digital nomads contribute towards the country’s economy by injecting foreign currency in the ecosystem, I asked if this is the only criteria being looked at? What about those nomads who can attract global attention and global traffic into Namibia? How do you factor that into the policy? Ms. Catherine Shipushu stated that, “The Namibia Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) serves a dual purpose in enhancing the country’s economy. Firstly, it allows digital nomads to inject foreign currency into the ecosystem, contributing to economic activities and growth. Additionally, the DNV harnesses the power of digital nomads as ambassadors for Namibia. Through their documentation and sharing of experiences on social media and other platforms, they become valuable marketing assets, attracting global attention and generating publicity for the country. As part of our marketing campaign, we have engaged digital nomads, who are currently in Namibia, to share their unique perspectives and experiences, aiming to inspire and attract more digital nomads to choose Namibia as their preferred “work” destination. By leveraging their presence and influence, we strive to create a ripple effect of positive exposure and interest in Namibia, ultimately benefiting the local economy and fostering collaboration between local and international professionals.”

On the two thousand dollars per month projection, I asked if this was targeted at only Western nomads only or global nomads including African nomads who might not have the same financial muscle as their Western counterparts? And would this amount be reduced anytime soon? Ms. Catherine Shipushu stated that, “The requirement of USD 2,000 per month for the Namibia Digital Nomad Visa is not targeted exclusively at Western nomads. The income requirement serves as a benchmark to ensure that digital nomads, regardless of their nationality, have the financial means to sustain themselves comfortably in Namibia. The aim is to provide a positive experience for digital nomads and contribute to the local economy. The income requirement is based on the cost of living in Namibia and takes into account expenses such as accommodation, transportation, food and other essentials. The Namibian government understands the diverse backgrounds of digital nomads and aims to create an inclusive environment that welcomes global nomads, including those from Africa and other parts of the world, while maintaining a reasonable financial stability requirement. As with any programme, there is a possibility of periodic evaluation and adjustments based on feedback and the evolving circumstances.”

The launch of Namibia’s Digital Nomad Visa programme is a bold and strategic move that positions the country as a prime destination for remote workers from around the world. By embracing this global trend and offering a world-class visa program, Namibia stands to reap substantial economic, social, and cultural benefits.

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Understanding Oneself: Foundation to Success by Henry Ukazu




Dear Destiny Friends,

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” – Socrates

Please permit me to begin this article by asking a simple question. Who are you? By this, I mean what you stand for or represent and not what the world thinks of you. It is instructive to note that what the world thinks of you is your reputation, but your character is who you really are.

If an employer wants to know more about a prospective employee, they can ask an open-ended question such as how would you describe yourself in one sentence? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Have you ever experienced a challenge or problem at work? If yes, how did you handle it? All these questions are structured to inquire more about the personality of the employee.

One of the best things anyone can do in life is not only to understand who they are, but also understand what they represent. It will be hard to know what you represent if you don’t understand who you are. If you don’t understand yourself, it will be difficult to understand other people.

According to Forbes, only 15% of the world are self-aware. One begins to wonder, what about the remaining 85%. As a transformational Human Capacity Coach, my company is focused on helping people unleash their potential. To do this, we use our self-discovery and mindset training manual to know more about them by giving them a set of self awareness questions which they are required to answer to the best of their knowledge. It is rather unfortunate that a lot of people don’t know themselves. They just exist as opposed to living.

Self-discovery is truly lacking in our society. When you truly know yourself, you will know your strengths and weaknesses. When you know yourself, you will know your boundaries as regards what to accept from people and where to draw the lines; you will know your personality traits; you will have a clearer understanding of your career path in your professional life; you will know how to interact with people; you will know your core values; you will have a clearer version of your life purpose; and you will be self-motivated. The list is literally endless.

In the journey of life, we engage in a lot of activities we are not supposed to be engaged in. For example, we study courses we are not wired or love to study, and this makes understanding difficult. Some of us apply for jobs we are not passionate about just to pay bills. Some of us even marry partners we don’t really like due to circumstances. Again, the list is endless. All these can lead to frustration and depression if not properly managed. If only we can take a deep breath and ask ourselves some deep thought-provoking questions on what we really want in life, and the reason we are doing what we are doing, the result will be different.

There are many ways to understand oneself. You can understand yourself by staying silent, reflecting about, and observing your life. These acts will help you to practice self-awareness which will ultimately help you to look inward and enable you to understand your feelings, emotions, and your personality. Self knowledge will enable you to know your values, interests, temperament, life mission, and activities to engage in.

As human beings, one thing we should constantly engage in is learning new things about ourselves on a daily basis. Knowing oneself takes time. However, due to desperation, most people don’t practice the art of stillness. When you take time to understand what’s involved in a particular work, it will be easy to solve it in a more efficient and effective manner. There is a story told of a philosopher, who fell into a ditch in front of him because he was too busy to see what was ahead of him.

Again, let’s take the case of Japan with about one hundred and twenty-five million people, which is one of the most industrialized countries on the planet, yet it maintains a level of calm despite the busy nature of the country.

The benefits of knowing oneself is priceless. It will make you confident which will ultimately eliminate self-doubt. It will help you build better and healthy health relationships by attracting the people you need and eliminating people you don’t need. You will be less stressed because you will focus on what’s important as opposed to irrelevant things which will keep your temperament and mindset in good shape.

Self discovery will help you to know your self-worth because no one will price you cheap when you know your value, and you will feel happier.

Furthermore, self knowledge will help you in decision making. When you know yourself, you will be able to make better choices about everything, from minor decisions to major decisions. Your temperament and personality type will be better managed as a leader or rational being.

Self control: When you know yourself, you will better manage yourself. If you can’t manage yourself, it will be hard to manage other people. When you know yourself, you understand what motivates you to resist bad habits and develop good ones. Knowing your strengths is one of the foundations of self confidence.

Resistance to social pressure. Self knowledge helps you to focus on what’s beneficial to you as opposed to other people. According to Bill Cosby, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. When you are grounded in your values and preferences, you are less likely to say “yes” when you want to say “no.”

In conclusion, take time and reflect on this question, who am I? This is one of the most important questions you will answer in your entire life. When you answer this question, you have solved 50% of your life challenges. If you can’t answer this question, and need assistance, you can use the email below to reach out for assistance.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via

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