Ex-Envoy predicts hunger, inflation for Africa if Russia/ Ukraine crisis lingers

eebcf mr. frank isoh
eebcf mr. frank isoh

From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

Mr. Frank Isoh, Former Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine has predicted hunger, inflation and loss of manpower for countries in Africa if the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, urging the United Nations and world super powers to discontinue the crisis between the two countries.

He noted that the price of bread would soon skyrocket as African countries largely depend on wheat from Russia for production, pointing out that there is already upsurge in the price of oil, increasing government’s spending on subsidy.

The ex-envoy stated that fear of terrible backlashes have begun to manifest in Africa with the way many students seeking medical education in Ukraine have had their dreams truncated by the war.

Isoh made the statements at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD), on Tuesday, during a bi-annual Diplomatic Dialogue Titled: “Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Emerging Global Dynamics: Implementations for Africa and the world”, organised by the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy.

The ex-Ambassador explained that he raised the fear owing to emerging indications that there are no countries and organisations to mediate in the crisis due to mistrust the Russia has for United States of America, United Nations and the Vatican, who could have propelled a trouble-shooting measures.

The diplomatic expert, however, said the only way to rein in Putin is to impose heavy sanctions on Russia to instigate the people against his government when the economy becomes harder and unbearable.

In the alternative, Isoh mulled outright  reorganisation of Ukraine to make it a federating state from the current unitary structure, as a way of fortifying the country and make it more cohesive in decision making.

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Speaking on the implications of the war, Isoh said:

“There will be hunger in Africa if the war lingers, and increasing fiscal deficit because the price of oil will go up and the country will borrow money to pay for subsidy thereby giving unscrupulous people to shortchange the system.

“This will certainly have its ripple effects on the prices of goods. The food prices, particularly wheat of which both Russia and Ukraine are substantial exporters will increase.  Nigeria imports a good proportion of her wheat from Russia. The war will have effect on prices of wheat based products in the long run.

“For Nigeria there is likely to be an increase in fiscal deficit as a result of mounting subsidy payment on petrol. To meet these mounting subsidy payments the country may result to more borrowings and more debts.

“Another significant impact particularly on Africa is in the area of education. Ukraine is a magnet for African and third world students seeking medical education. Those students have already had their education disrupted for an uncertain length of time.

“Records showed that a total of 5,200 Nigerian students and about 3,000 citizens living in that country have had their educational pursuits and means of economic survival truncated”.

Isoh added that having a strong country deploying its military to muzzle a weaker country is no longer fashionable in this era, saying such despotic tendency  shouldn’t be accepted.

Condemning the killings and rendering of many citizens homeless, ABUAD’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN) fumed at the International Court of Justice for posing as a “Toothless Bulldog” over its inability to sanction Putin for disobeying its orders.

Babalola said Ukraine remains a sovereign state and that it was criminal in the face of the international law for Russia to be killing in that country for failing to agree with its diplomatic  policies.

“The lesson we learnt from all these is that the World Court has no power to  sanction Russia for disobeying its orders. You can see that the ICJ is no more than a toothless bulldog”, he said.

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