An international non-governmental organisation, Oxfam has highlighted the critical role of Right to Food campaign and access of land in solving inequality in Nigeria.
The organisation, which launched and implemented its strategic partnership programme in 25 countries in 2015, has three basic theories for change: Right to food, conflict and fragility and financing for development.
Coordinator, Private and Public sector Transparency and Accountability for Oxfam, Celestine Odo, who expressed worries over the widening gap between the poor and the rich, stressed that poverty and inequality in Nigeria can be connected to the pressure on limited resources.
He spoke in Lagos shortly after a two-day workshop, held in collaboration with BudgIT Information Technology Network Lagos,
According to him, misallocation and misappropriation of limited resources has made the problem bigger, hence the need for such strategic campaigns like Right to Food and Financing for Development, which is aimed at bridging the inequality gap.
Odo therefore called for concerted efforts to tackle the clashes between farmers and herders and review of the land use act to allow for easier access to land in order to guarantee food security, since majority of the Nigeria population are farmers. He noted that the programme has led to a change to budget process in Nigeria.
Speaking on the Right To Food (R2F) Bill, a representative of Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) Mrs. Abiola Bayode said: “It is a human right bill, which protects people from hunger.”
She further said: “The challenge is that the government sees food as a need and not a human right. We want to see that the right to food is explicitly stated in chapter four of the Nigerian constitution; this will make the government more accountable on food security in Nigeria.
“It is therefore not about distributing food free of charge to all Nigerians, but a necessity to protect the vulnerable people by creating an enabling environment.”
Oxfam local partners in the programme, include; ActionAid Abuja, Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDBUMOG), BudgIT Information Technology Network Lagos, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), KEBETKACHE Women Development and Resources Centre, HEDA Lagos, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) and Nigeria Association of Nigeria Traders (NANTS).