CBN battles rise in food prices

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said logistics challenges and the activities of hoarders should take the blame for the high cost of food items.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said this at the end of the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The latest inflation figures rose in December after trending downwards for eight months.

The CBN, he said, sees “logistical problems essentially bordering on transportation and destruction of food production or perishable items from farm to market”.

To solve this, he said the apex bank was “trying to encourage people who are interested in looking at how to resolve the logistical problems of delivering food from farm to market to come in and take advantage of some of that intervention that we have”.

Another reason for the high cost of foodstuff, Emefiele noted, were the activities hoarders, who he said: “are here playing their games”.

Hoarders, he said, “buy and hoard, wait for the dry season for prices to go up, so they can take advantage at the detriment of innocent Nigerians”.

Emefiele said: “We started a programme last year where we said for repayment of our loan under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, we will receive the product into our silos and warehouses and we will dispose of them and sell them to the real end-users whether it is to the real rice millers or the feed millers who need them.

“Through that mechanism, we can be seen to be competing with the hoarders in the market to moderate prices.

“It worked well in 2021 because between February and around August 2021, the Central Bank released every month 50,000 tons of maize through our silos.”

Another solution he pointed out is that “all excess output aggregated from the financed farmers will be released to the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) to help moderate the prices of food in the market”.



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