Nigeria loses 64% land to desertification

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By Emma Ujah

Abuja—The nation has lost 63.83 per cent of her farmlands to desertification, resulting in massive North-South migration of Northern herdsmen and farmers and constant clashes with other Nigerians over land resources in parts of the country.

Civil Society Organisations , CSOs, which met at the 2016 Budget Review Forum, in Abuja, yesterday, charged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the menace which now threatens the nation’s food production, as well as, security of lives and property.

Executive Director of Centre for Social Justice, CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, said that Nigeria has fallen to a “very dangerous and threatening position.”

He regretted that there had been no clear thought-out and well-coordinated economic programme to reinvigorate the economy, thus leading to the current deepening of the recession.

Onyekpe said, “Yesterday, we all heard that the economy has officially entered into recession, the implication is that we have a leadership without a thinking cap. The challenges started since last year and by the first quarter, the economy contracted by 0. 36 percent less than 1 percent.

“It was enough warning for anybody, who could reason well to begin to take steps to stop the slide but nothing was done. Toady, our economy has contracted by 2.06 percent, nobody knows what will happen in the next quarter.

“Now is the time for the government to actually talk about economic emergency, not economic emergency that will give dictatorial powers to the hands of the executive or anybody else, it must be evidently.

“I wonder what happens at the economic management team between the managers of fiscal policy and the monetary policy team. And that is the beginning of the crisis we are having in our economy, there is no harmony between this two key polices.

“Today, the best we have seen are polices which are not necessarily coordinated and linked to one another. You need that sequencing and harmony to be able to move the economy forward.

“In our macro- economic review, part of the challenge we see is that monetary policy is heading West while fiscal policy is heading East. You cannot be having a contradictory monetary policy trying to hedge in the economy; trying to mop up excess liquidity every time. At a point in time, government was saying we want to run an expansionary fiscal policy, we want to spend our way out of the recession, while on the other side, the monetary policy is contradictory.”

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