The International Monetary Fund estimates that the number of Nigerians lacking food security increased from about 2.5 million as of December 2019 to about 4.5 million as of September 2021.
The estimate was provided in a graph in the IMF’s ‘Nigeria Staff Report for the 2021 Article IV Consultation’ report.
The Washington-based attributed this increase to be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report read in part, “The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is leaving a lasting imprint on the vulnerable with an increased number of people facing food insecurity and poverty.”
The IMF also said that the country would continue to experience the impacts of the pandemic due to rising food insecurity and increased poverty levels.
“The social impacts of the pandemic may be more enduring with rising food insecurity and an increase in the already-high levels of poverty,” the report read.
The World Bank had said the general increase in food prices which occurred between June 2020 and June 2021 might have increased the percentage of Nigerians living below the national poverty line from 40.1 per cent to 42.8 per cent.
The World Bank also said the Federal Government of Nigeria did not take any concerted action towards curbing inflation in 2021 despite inflation shock pushing an estimated eight million Nigerians below the poverty line.
However, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, recently said that technology can be deployed to boost food security and transparency in Nigeria.