FG sets new plan for troubled economy...raise task force to reduce food prices
Nigeria's leaders will gather for a week to set a course for the economy, as biting recession raises global concerns.
Moved by the need to enhance affordability of food prices across country, the Buhari administration has constituted a Presidential Task Force to urgently consider measures that would ensure a steady flow of produce to the market and reverse recent price increases.
Giving the directive Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, expressed concern at some of the inflationary rates of food prices, noting that the Task Force will explore options to promote availability and affordability of food items to Nigerians.
Per Second News investigation shows that food prices are skyrocketing across Nigeria, and last month, they peaked to the highest levels since the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization began indexing them in 1990
According to the acting president, the Task Force, which has seven days from today to report back to the Council will consider how to remove some of the cost-raising factors that come into play between the farms and the markets and therefore "bring relief to our people."
While there have been reports of bumper harvests in parts of the country, the prices of food stuff still end up rather high, while some of the produce even end up wasted due to a number of reasons preventing effective transportation delivery to the markets.
One of the focus areas of the Task Force, the Ag. President noted, would be to review the transportation and preservation processes, and see how government can intervene in those aspects to bring down food prices.
A food expert in a chat with this media house says, it's hard to say exactly how regulating safety and the cost of food products will play out. It is always a standard mantra in any industry that when it's regulated, everything will cost more.
"What we're seeing is that the entire food supply of the world is now globalized, and there is no country on Earth that is entirely self-supporting. Everybody is importing and exporting, he said.
Members of the Task Force include the following:
Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun
Minister of Industry, Trade & Development, Dr. Okey Enelamah
Minister of Transportation, Honorable Rotimi Amaechi
Minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu
Minister of Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige
The Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, would also be on the Task Force.