Border Closure Partly Responsible for Rising Food Inflation – Finance Minister
Nigeria’s recent border closure drill has been linked to the recent rise in headline inflation which is currently at 11.61 per cent as of October 2019.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, briefed State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, that recent figures from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) were noticed since September.
She explained that the increase in food inflation witnessed in September and October is linked to the increase in prices of food, propelled by the border closure.
“Headline inflation declined for several months before we noticed an uptake in the last two months and now headline inflation is at 11.61 percent as at the end of October.
“The slight increase between September and October is due to increases in food inflation ascribed to increase in prices of cereals, rice, and fish.
“Part of the reason is the border closure; the closure is very short and temporary and the increase is just by 2 basis points,” she explained.
Mrs. Ahmed pointed out that discussions with neighbouring countries on the border closure have advanced and the Federal Government is expecting every party to respect the protocols they are all committed to.
She stressed that the government is making sure that the economy does not suffer once the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) comes into effect.
“The border closure is temporary; we have really advanced on the discussion between ourselves and our neighbours and we expect that the outcomes of those discussions and agreement are that each party will respect the protocols that we all committed to and then the borders will be open again.
“What we are doing is important for our economy as we signed on to the AfCFTA, we have to make sure that we put in place, checks to make sure that our economy is not overrun as a result of the coming into effect of the AfCFTA and that’s why we have this border closure to return to the discipline of respecting the protocols that we are all committed to.”
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