Expert Wants CBN To Extend Food Programme To Every State To Drastically Reduce Inflation
An Economist, Dr Uju Ogubunka, on Wednesday urged the apex bank to extend its food intervention programme to every state of the federation to achieve a substantial decline in the country’s inflation rate.
Ogubunka, former Executive Secretary, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), gave the advice in an interview in Lagos.
According to him, the CBN scheme on rice and other cereals should be extended beyond the states of the north-central and northwest for the good of the economy.
“If the states in other parts of the country also get such intervention from the monitory authority, the volumes of food import will reduce to the barest minimum,” he said.
He urged the government to create more business friendly environment that would encourage the private sector to invest in the various agriculture value chain.
He said the private sector should be well positioned to build more silos to complement the few ones owned by the government to ware-house excess food produce.
He said the motivation could include tax holidays, reduced cost of credit facilities, among others, to build processing plants for variety of food.
He added that the government should sustain the current economic policy at the various sector of the economy for a continuous fall in inflation rate.
Ogubunka lauded the government intervention in the foreign exchange market, especially in the Investment and Export (IE) windows, to ease the burden of accessing forex.
The press reports that on Tuesday the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation for April, decreased to 12.48 per cent (year-on-year) from 13.38 per cent recorded in March.
The NBS said in its CPI and Inflation Report for April, posted on its website, that the decrease represented 0.86 per cent and the lowest since February 2016.
This is the 15th consecutive time that the inflation rate has declined since January 2017.
The bureau said increases were recorded in all the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.
The bureau said the rural inflation rate also dropped to 12.13 per cent in April from 12.99 per cent in March.