Uwaleke tasks FG on more strategies against food inflation

Prof. Uche Uwaleke, the President of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, has advised the Federal Government to initiate more strategies to tackle rising food inflation. Uwaleke gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos. He reacted to the May inflation figure. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria's headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent in May. The NBS made this known in its Consumer Price Index and Inflation Report for May, which was released on Saturday. The figure is 0.26 per cent points higher than the 33.69 per cent recorded in April. The NBS said that on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 11.54 per cent higher than that of May 2023 which was 22.41 per cent. The report said the food inflation rate in May 2024 increased to 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent higher than 24.82 per cent recorded in May 2023. The NBS said that in May 2024, food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi, with 46.32 per cent, followed by Ekiti with 44.94 per cent. Uwaleke said that the Federal Government should devise more effective strategies to combat banditry and kidnapping to tackle inflation. He added that the government should hasten repair of public refineries as well as scale up the number of compressed natural gas buses being introduced to ease transport. 'I have always maintained that, to deal with the rising food inflation, the fiscal authority has a lot of roles to play. See also Petrol increase to N626.70 in August- NBS 'This is because the major causative factors such as insecurity in the food-belt regions, transport and logistics challenges, as well as epileptic power supply and high cost of fuel, are all outside the control of the Central Bank of Nigeria,' he said. Uwaleke said that Nigeria's economy was being challenged by a cost-push inflation emanating from high transport and energy costs, as well as insecurity, among other issues. He said tha t insecurity aggravated the situation through food supply shortages. On the Kogi food inflation figure, Uwaleke attributed it to bad roads which, he said, made it difficult for farmers to convey food items from their farms. 'I understand the rural roads in Kogi are not in good condition; so, farmers have difficulty conveying food items from their farms. Insecurity is also a cause. 'Kogi (especially Lokoja) serves as a transit route for many travellers from the North to the South and vice versa, who normally stop over to eat and make purchases before proceeding on their journeys. 'This tends to push up prices of commodities in Kogi. 'Even in terms of headline inflation, Kogi has always recorded the highest except for last month when it was second highest after Bauchi,' Uwaleke said. Source: News Agency of Nigeria