• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Inflation is slowing, food prices will come down – Edun

FG launches platform to monitor import duty exemptions

Wale Edun, the minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy has assured Nigerians that food prices will begin to decline and availability of food will increase as inflation slows.

Edun who appeared as a guest on Channels Television on Sunday said the country is on the right economic path, adding that the government is doubling efforts to increase agricultural production to ease stubbornly high inflation.

“Agricultural output is up to bring down inflation. Inflation is slowing month on month. Food prices will come down; food availability will increase,” the finance minister said.

The minister’s comments follow the 16th consecutive increase of the country’s headline inflation which reached a 28-year high of 33.69 percent in April, piling pressure on the spending power of income earners.

While the inflation rate increased by 11.47 percentage points year-on-year compared to 22.22 percent it stood last April, it decelerated month-on-month by 0.73 percent.

“On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in April 2024 was 2.29%, which was 0.73% lower than the rate recorded in March 2024 (3.02%).

“This means that in the month of April 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in March 2024,” the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Nigeria’s food inflation which accounts for about 50 percent of the consumer price index also skyrocketed to 40.53 percent, leading to a renewed rising food prices while throwing many into hunger.

Edun however noted that in revamping the economy, the government has embarked on certain measures to ensure relative stability and improve the living conditions of the people.

He revealed that food insecurity is a global phenomenon which is not peculiar to Nigeria alone asserting that 30 percent of the world population is food insecure.

The coordinating minister of the economy said the macroeconomic policies of the government had spiked inflationary pressures but assured it’s being addressed.

“Provision of food, cheaper transport and creation of jobs are being focused on,” he said.

“It does take time for positive outcomes to be felt, but we’re working on improving the citizen’s purchasing power,” he added.

Meanwhile, Uchenna Uzo, professor of marketing and faculty director at Lagos Business School said inflation may decline but not to as low as 21 percent projected by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Uzo noted that as inflation continues to rise, there has been no increase in the minimum wage nor in the real incomes of consumers.

“So we are getting to a situation where there would be a sharper drop in demand for products and services which would force businesses to reconsider their prices.

“We will see a drop in the country’s inflation but it’s going to be a mild and moderate drop,” the professor said.