Buhari criticises middlemen over hike in food prices

Buhari criticises middlemen over hike in food prices

President Muhammadu Buhari has again blamed middlemen for the hike in the prices of food items.

Buhari said middlemen are responsible for food shortages on Friday, October 1, during his nationwide address to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary.

The president said middlemen have created “artificial shortages”; through the hoarding of essential commodities for profiteering.

Buhari said the agricultural sector remains the key to the country’s economic diversification; adding that agriculture is a consistent driver of the non-oil sector.

“The agricultural sector remains key to our economic diversification efforts; as the sector has been a consistent driver of the non-oil sector contributing 22.35% and 23.78% to the overall GDP; in the first and second quarter of 2021,” the president said.

“We have seen significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the agricultural value chain. And these have continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, as our food production capacity has increased; food prices have been going up due to artificial shortages; created by middlemen who have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering.

“To address this, I am hereby directing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian commodity exchange, and the national assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities.”

In July 2021, the president blamed middlemen for the hike in food prices and he has maintained this stance on other occasions.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has deferred the official launch of its Digital Currency, the eNaira.

This was contained in a statement issued by the CBN spokesman, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, who said that the planned unveiling slated for today has now been deferred due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary.

No new date has been announced for the launch yet.

According to him, the CBN took the decision to postpone the launch, which had been initially planned to coincide with the Independence anniversary, in deference to the mood of national rededication to the collective dream of One Nigeria.

Also Read: Gbajabiamila preaches unity as solution to nation’s challenges

While assuring that there was no cause for alarm, he said the CBN and other partners were working round the clock; to ensure a seamless process that will be for the overall benefit of the customer; particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population.

 

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