Experts call for efforts to reduce food prices

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Some financial experts said the downward slide in the nation’s inflation rate could only reflect in prices of food with increased output in agricultural output.

The statement waa made in Lagos while reacting to the May inflation figure.

Proffesor  Sheriffdeen Tella, Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun said efforts must be intensified to increase output in agriculture for both food and cash crops.

He advised the government to check negative activities that affect agricultural output such and ensure improvement in production as well as capacity utilization in industries.

He said the decline in inflation has been very slow particularly for food, thereby making the impact to be minimal due to high cost of production and high interest rate.“For falling prices to be felt in the commodity market, the interest rate must come down and naira must continuously appreciate against the dollar and other key currencies.

However, interest rate may not come down now because of the fear that once the budget is endorsed by the President for implementation, liquidity will increase in the economy coupled with spending on the forthcoming election.

So, the Central Bank may want to continue to tighten the monetary angle. What can bring down prices will be increased production in both agriculture and industry,” Tella said.

Mr. Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said
the consistent decline of inflation since January 2017 was good for the economy.

Omordion said the impact would be felt with low interest rate and efficient infrastructure that support economic growth and development.

He said government must work hard to improve the nation’s infrastructure to reduce cost of production and aid movement of goods and services.

Adama.L