By Celestine Ajayi
The Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to scale up interventions in agriculture sector to stem the rising inflation figure.
ACMAN President, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, said this in an interview on Tuesday, while reacting to the January inflation figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Consumer Price Index report released by the NBS said the nation’s headline inflation rose by 0.71 basis points in January to 16.47 per cent from 15.75 per cent recorded in December.
According to the report, Nigeria’s headline inflation has risen to its highest in over three years, while food inflation rose to its highest since July 2008, when it stood at 20.9 per cent.
On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.49 per cent in January 2021. This is 0.12 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in December 2020 (1.61 per cent).
Uwaleke said the Federal government and the CBN should scale up interventions in agriculture.
He observed that the inflationary pressure had refused to abate in spite of the reopening of the border and reduction in levy on imported cars.
“Inflationary pressure is coming more from the food component which has now exceeded 20 per cent.
“This reflects the lingering effects of increases in Value Added Tax, pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs as well as insecurity and transport bottlenecks,” Uwaleke said.
He added that the CBN should equally consider increasing foreign exchange supply to bring down exchange rate, especially now that crude oil prices are relatively high.
According to him, the new Service Chiefs should roll up their sleeves and confront the seemingly intractable insecurity challenge in the country.