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Soaring Food Prices And Galloping Inflation

Nigeria’s inflation is mind-boggling in the sense that it is taking its toll on essential commodities like food. Over the years, the Federal Government and critical stakeholders in the economy have been unanimous on the need to put measures in place with a view to taming inflation by keeping it within a single digit. Sadly, that has not only failed but the double-digit inflation is worsening.

Latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicate that in November, inflation stood at 14.89 percent, representing an 0.66 percent increase, from 14.23 percent recorded in October. According to the report, the latest figure represents the highest inflation rate recorded in 34 months since January 2018, when the rate stood at 15.13 percent.

The aforementioned figures, judging from experts’ views, sadly indicate a difficult time that requires concerted economic efforts by the government in collaboration with the private sector, players to address impediments to output and productivity. Going by the fact that rising inflationary figures weaken the people’s purchasing power, the masses are the worst hit as food prices soar.

In this vein, there is the need, as the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Industry (LCCI) puts it, to address structural constraints to output and productivity, tackle logistic challenges, insecurity as well as reform the country’s foreign exchange market with a view to reducing volatility and uncertainty. Evidently, the nation’s food security gap is widening with farmers abandoning their farms due to insecurity and lack of incentives from the government among other things.

However, we appreciate the fact that federal government’s renewed emphasis on agriculture is a step in the right direction; it must match words with action with a view to growing the sector in a manner that will invariably shore up food supply and make it affordable to all and sundry. We strongly believe that as the nation groans under inflation which has occasioned a rise in food prices, the Nigerian government must redouble efforts to make food affordable for her over 200 million population bearing in mind that food is the most basic of all human survival needs.

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