Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minster of the Economy, Mr. Olawale Edun, yesterday, said the rising prices of food and commodities in the country had become increasingly worrisome for the federal government.
Says situation caused by demand, supply forces,Government looking forward to good harvest that will reduce prices.
The minister spoke in Abuja during a bilateral meeting with a visiting German delegation, led by that country’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Ms Svenja Shulze.
Edun’s comments came as protests rocked Niger State yesterday, as some youths and women resented what they perceived as mass purchase of food items for hoarding and export outside the country. The state government blamed food speculators for the protests.
Speaking alongside Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, Edun said, “I think the issue of rising prices is of concern to the government and everybody in Nigeria,” and some major steps were being taken to address the situation.
He said, “It is the issue of demand and supply and a lot of emphasis has been placed on increasing agricultural production, in particular.
“The president has intervened in that sector to provide grain, fertilisers to farmers and to bring additional acreage – rice, wheat, maize, and cassava – to increase the output and thereby bring down prices and that will help bring down inflation.
“And, of course, we are in the middle of the dry season farming and we are looking forward to a good dry season harvest that will ameliorate price, in particular, and the price level in Nigeria, in general.”