Inflation: Expert urges FG to support massive food production, packaging

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LAGOS – Mr Bright Okwu, an economist, on Monday, urged the Federal Government use massive food production and packaging to sustain the declining national inflation profile.

Okwu, the President, Small-Holder Farmers and Youth Network of Nigeria, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that aiding food packaging and manufacturing would reverse the soaring inflation rate.

According to him, government should control inflation by encouraging Nigerians to consume locally- produced and packaged foods.

“Consuming more local food crops and commodities will develop the sector, as well as the nation’s business value chain.

“Locally-produced and packaged food possess less preservatives and are healthier, compared with foreign foods,” he said.

Okwu said that another means of crashing the inflation rate would be the sustenance of the production of foods and fruit crops that are imported.

He also said that government should persuade foreign investors to built food processing plants, to manage perishable commodities.

“More foreign investors must be encouraged to commence plants through holidays and provision of land.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) only recently disclosed that the rate of inflation in February was 8.4 per cent, against 8.2 per cent recorded in January, 2015.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]

A Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released by the NBS in Abuja showed that inflation rose to 8.4 per cent (year-on-year), 0.2 on percentage points, from 8.2 per cent recorded in January.

According to the report, food prices, from the Food Sub-index, increased at a faster pace in February following increases in the prices of imported food items.

The imported food sub-index increased by 8.8 per cent (year-on-year), the highest increase recorded since February, 2013.

The food sub-index rose by 9.4 per cent (year-on-year), 0.2 on percentage points from January.

By groups, while most groups that contributed to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace during the month, the pace of increase in the food sub-index was weighed upon by a slower increase in the bread and cereals group,” said.

In the report, the pace of advances recorded by the “All Items less Farm Produce” or core sub-index increased for the second consecutive month in February.

The core sub-index increased by 7.0 per cent year-on-year, 0.2 percentage points from the 6.8 per cent recorded in January.

Prices increased at a faster pace in most major non-food divisions, except for the recreational and culture division, which increased at a slower pace.

After increasing at the same pace on a month-on-month basis for the previous two months, 0.8 per cent, the headline index increased at a marginally slower pace in February by 0.7 per cent.

Year-on-year, the urban index increased at a faster pace for the second consecutive month, increasing by 8.4 per cent in February, 0.2 percentage points from January. (NAN)

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