Sabi Abdullahi, the minister of state for agriculture and food security, says about 50 million out of the country’s 80 million hectares of arable land remain uncultivated, stressing that tackling hunger will reduce corruption in Nigeria.
Mr Abdullahi disclosed this in Abuja at a parley with journalists covering the Senate. The minister said that food security was the most critical out of President Bola Tinubu’s eight-point agenda.
“As it is presently, out of 70 million to 80 million hectares of arable land in the country, only 34 million hectares are cultivated, meaning that there is more than enough uncultivated arable land for the government and Nigerians to explore for farming,” stated the minister.
According to him, a key benefit of food security is a war against corruption, as some people take to a corrupt way of life due to hunger.
“Just as some others also take to crime as a result of poverty, which, in itself, can be substantially addressed by food security. When you secure the stomach, the tendency for average Nigerians to resort to corruption or outright crime and criminalities will be reduced,” the minister reasoned.
Mr Abdullahi added, “Nigerians need to key into the policy by planting something wherever they live. Government is also determined to get a substantial part of the uncultivated hectares of land in the country cultivated.”
The minister, however, urged Nigerians to engage in improved planting in tandem with the federal government’s policy on food security.