- Experts Caution FG
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As Nigeria’s headline inflation jumps to 16.47 per cent from 15.75 per cent, economic experts have implored the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to take drastic measures to check the rise.
The experts who were reacting to data released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) warned of dire consequences if the trend was allowed to continue.
This is even as the federal government yesterday warned that about 10million Nigerians may slip below the poverty line by the end of 2021 following the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
They also said the incessant crisis between cattle herders and farmers and rising spate of banditry in the North West are part of the reasons for the hike in prices of food across the country.
Finance expert and academia, Prof Uche Uwaleke, said inflationary pressure was coming more from the food component which has now exceeded 20 per cent.
He said, “This reflects the lingering effects of increases in VAT, pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs as well as insecurity and transport bottlenecks. The inflationary pressure has refused to abate despite border reopening and reduction in levy on imported cars.”
Uwaleke urged government and the CBN to scale up interventions in agriculture sector and consider increasing forex supply to bring down exchange rate, especially now that crude oil prices are relatively high.
He also advised the new service chiefs to roll up their sleeves and confront the “seemingly intractable insecurity challenge in the country.”
Nigeria’s inflation rate has been on steady increase from 11.24 per cent since September 2019.
The NBS report noted that on month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.83 percent in January 2021, down by 0.22 per cent points from 2.05 per cent recorded in December 2020.