The Presidency has said the prices of food items in the country are dropping contrary to public opinions. According to him, it is as a result of the agricultural reforms of the Buhari-led administration.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, disclosed this while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Friday.
Shehu was reacting to the President’s directive Thursday that the Central Bank of Nigeria should not release money for food and fertiliser importation henceforth and also a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, Dr Ahmed Adamu, who aulted the timing of the policy because of the inflation already in the economy.
The President’s spokesperson reportedly said Nigeria’s land borders were closed not only to curb the importation of rice and other food products but to also curb the proliferation of small arms smuggled into the country to feed inter-communal crisis and banditry, amongst others.
“To say the cost of food items is connected to the closure of the borders is absolutely wrong. And to say that the prices of food ain’t coming down, I think the scholar has detached himself from the market because we sat through the meeting of the National Food Security Council and we heard presentations by experts – people who had surveyed the markets,” he began.
“As of yesterday (Thursday), in the morning of the meeting, go and check the index in markets. For instance in Kano, millets that had gone up to N24,000 has now gone down to N12,000, N13,000. Rice that had been N25,000 is now N20,000. Corn, maize is now N18,000 for the old stock and N14,000, N15,000 for the new stock.
So, to say that there is no change in the prices is to show one is completely detached from what is happening in the country.”
When told by the moderators of the programme that his position was contrary to the reality being faced daily by Nigerians on the streets, Shehu insisted, “As the Germans say, if you want to get the best of the weather, open the windows. My suggestions to the journalists who sit and write all of these numbers is, send your correspondents to the streets, go to the markets and find out.
“I didn’t say that all of the prices, the changes had crashed completely. They are coming down because the harvested items are coming into the market. Prices are coming down, they will continue to go down as more and more food items are harvested. It’s a seasonal thing and we are going to see through this as well.”
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