• Sunday, April 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG urged to tackle insecurity, boost manufacturing

Tinubu calls for patriotism, support for government

The Federal government has been urged to tackle insecurity, reduce the cost of governance, and boost manufacturing activities to ameliorate the hardship occasioned by increasing inflation.

According to a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the nation’s inflation rate rose to 28.92 percent in December 2023, the highest since January 2003.

Also, food inflation which constitutes 50 percent of the inflation rate, rose to 33.93 percent in December from 32.84 percent in November.

Experts, who spoke with BusinessDay stressed the need to boost local production of commodities within the country, to whittle the impact of the increasing inflation rate on Nigerians.

 Muda Yusuf, the CEO of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), speaking to BusinessDay, said there was a need for the government to address insecurity which has impacted the level of food production in the country, as well as the high cost of energy.

“There is a need for the government to address insecurity and energy costs, these will bring relief to the average Nigerian because these are some of the things we spend monies on daily.

“If insecurity is addressed, it will boost food production because our farmers will be able to go to their farms freely. Also, the government should reduce the import duties on production components. This will boost local production and reduce our level of imports,” he said.

He, however, commended the policies of the government through the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stabilise the exchange rate, as well as put a stop to the ways and means, which according to him, was a major factor leading to high inflation.

Yusuf also expressed optimism that Nigerians will begin to see a reduction in energy costs with the coming on board of the Dangote refinery.

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the executive director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said: “With the increasing inflation, poverty and inequality is widening and this is a problem. The poor are getting poorer; they cannot afford to access healthcare and other basic amenities.

“Relief can only come for Nigerians if the government will deliberately curb corruption, cut down the cost of governance and make our industries work. We are not producing enough hence we are spending our revenues on imports”, he said.

According to NBS, the rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables milk, cheese, and eggs.

It also showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed the most (14.98 percent) to the increase in the headline index, followed by housing water, electricity, gas, and other fuel (4.84 percent), clothing and footwear (2.21 percent), transport (1.88 percent), furnishings and household equipment and maintenance (1.45 percent) and education (1.14 percent).