The Federal Government has expressed concern over the continuous rise in the prices of food and other commodities, prompting protests in Niger and Kano.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Olawale Edun, addressed a bilateral meeting with a visiting German delegation led by the country’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Svenja Shulze, in Abuja on Monday.
Edun explained that the situation, which has sparked growing discontent among the citizenry, was driven by the forces of demand and supply in the country.
Worried by the increasing price of commodities, some youths and women resented what they perceived as the mass purchase of food items for hoarding and exporting outside the country.
The state government blamed food speculators for the protests.
The police noted they used “minimum force” to disperse protesters who blocked the Minna-Bida Road and arrested some whose activities were obstructing vehicular and human movement.
Similarly, Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, lamented on Monday that many people in his state were living in misery amid starvation and acute hunger.
The federal government through the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, had earlier announced the government had commenced the massive production of food crops to bring down the prices of food items across the country.
He said the target of the government was to reduce food inflation, describing it as the major reason for the high rate of inflation in Nigeria’s economy.
Kyari disclosed this to newsmen after hosting the Governor of Jigawa State, Umar Namadi, at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Abuja.
Punch / Arafat Ayofe