To prevent a crisis in global food security, the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) has called for swift, decisive, diplomatic, and practical action.
Babatunde Savage, the chairman of ICC Nigeria, made the request at the chamber’s 23rd annual general meeting in Lagos.
He pointed out that in addition to the 276 million people who are anticipated to be at risk at the start of 2022, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict could cause 47 million additional people to experience acute food shortages this year.
He claims that fertiliser shortages and self-defeating trade restrictions on agriculture might make food poverty worse long into 2023.
According to him, these developments pose enormous and perfectly foreseeable risks to world peace and prosperity, but they are risks that may be completely avoided if the international community is able to take the required collective action.
He asserts that it is vital to assist continuing diplomatic attempts to open up the export of Ukrainian grain and vegetable oils, as well as to support initiatives to reopen trade in Russian fertilisers.
The globe is currently witnessing the most severe economic situation since World War II, according to Savage, who emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a devastating impact on the global economy.
“We cannot estimate the incalculable human cost of the pandemic,” he stated. In order to safeguard the human species and reduce the raging collateral economic damages being faced, we implore all nations to cooperate, collaborate, and act in unison. Many investors have stopped making new investments due to the state of many enterprises, and many more are thinking about selling their holdings.
“Several workers have lost their employment as a result of the agreement. As a result of the aforementioned, several countries went through a recession, and around 80 countries—including Nigeria—asked the IMF for assistance. Nigeria was not immune to the pandemic’s effects on the world economy.
The minor deterioration in the outlook for the world economy in 2021 has been partially countered by a rebound that is slightly more upbeat. In contrast, the outlook for the Eurozone, Eastern Europe, and Latin America in 2021 has significantly improved.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mike Ogbalu III, the president and chief executive officer of the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS), has lamented that intra-African commerce, which is between 15 and 17 percent, is by far the lowest intra-continental trade in the world.
He highlighted several contributing factors to these dismal figures, including high costs, significant reliance on foreign exchange, and ineffective payment methods.
Cross-border transactions are exceedingly expensive, resulting in an estimated loss of $5 billion in payment charges each year, according to Ogbalu, who gave the Post AGM lecture to PAPSS.
According to him, PAPSS promotes a safe and effective flow of funds across the continent and offers centralized payment and settlement.
According to him, SWIFT commercial payments within Africa totaled $18.8 billion in 2017 and are expected to reach $33 billion by the year 202.
Less than 20% of all cross-border payment transactions coming from African banks are cleared outside of the continent.