Some financial experts have charged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to address insecurity affecting food production and unify the foreign exchange windows to check the rising inflation rate in the country.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Prof. Sherifdeen Tella, Head of Economics Department, OlabisiOnabanjo University, advised the incoming government, under Tinubu,to address the rising inflation by changing its strategy of tackling insecurity.
“This should be, particularly in areas considered food belts, where the majority of our food produce is harvested and moved to the market.
“This will enable the country to achieve food sufficiency and resolve its induced inflation,” Tella said.
He said that state governments need to partner with local farmers to build agro-processing plants that would help manage food gluts on farms.
He urged the incoming government to also address the high cost of production responsible for soaring inflation.
“The government should adopt favorable macroeconomic policies geared at supporting local producers.
“This will enable local manufacturers to commence the production of imported substitute commodities,thereby enhancing the economy,” he said.
Also, Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, said the incoming government could check rising inflation by unifying the country’s foreign exchange market.
“The multiple exchange windows, operated currently, negate businesses and give room for arbitrage in the market, especially for business owners who are engaged in importation of commodities into the country,” Yusuf said.
He noted that the country’s inflation rate was esaxibated by the ways and means intervention in the economy.
“The apex bank has supported the federal government to fund its fiscal budget deficit over the last seven odd years.
“About N22 trillion has been allocated to the government suppassing its threshold which is partially injecting money into the system andinimical to the economy,” Yusuf said.
Also, speaking Mr Boniface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), said the incoming government could check transportation cost to mitigate the inflation rate.
“Moving goods and farm produce from one area to another via road transporots has assumed an astronomical rise in recent times.
“This is coupled with the incessant increases in the cost of refined petroleum products, which is partially responsible for the inflation increases,” Okezie said.
He noted that the incoming government should ensure that importation of refined petroleum product was brought to an end to check inflation rise.
“The government should ensure to support all domestic petroleum refineries in order to meet our local demand and stop importation.
“The volume of petroleum product being imported is worsening our inflation rate and reducing the nation’s foreign reserves,” he said.
Supreme reports that the headline inflation rate in Nigeria rose to 22.22 percent in April, buoyed by a sharp increase in food inflation, signifying the highest rate hike in 17 years.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that food inflation increased to 24.61 per cent year-on-year, with prices of various food items increasing.
According to the NBS, on a month-on-month basis, the All-Items Index in April 2023 was 1.91 per cent, which was 0.05 per cent points higher than the 1.86 per cent recorded in March.
This means that in April, on average, the general price level was 0.05 per cent higher relative to March.