Again, Buhari blames middlemen for higher increase in food prices

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has again blamed the activities of ‘middlemen’ for the sporadic increase in food places in the country.

Buhari stated this during his broadcast to the nation on the occasion of Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary on Friday.

He said while his administration had been able to increase the nation’s food capacity, he lamented that the middlemen buy the food product to hoard for profiting.

“Unfortunately, as our food production capacity has increased, food prices have been going up due to artificial shortages created by middlemen who have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering,” he said.

The president said that he had directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to the disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities by the middlemen.

To further enhance food production, he said his administration had completed several new dams and is also in the process of rehabilitating several River Basin Development Authorities to enhance groundwater supply for rainfed agriculture as well as surface water for irrigation agriculture.

Buhari also noted that the water projects his administration had completed between 2015 to 2020 had improved Nigerian’s access to potable water to 71%, claiming 12.5 million additional Nigerians now have direct access to potable water.

Buhari had in July, blamed the activities of middlemen for the high cost of rice in the country.

He also blamed the high cost of food on farmlands destruction by flood and insecurity.






     

     

    According to the  National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food prices dropped to 20.3% in August 2021, compared to 21.03% recorded in the previous month.

    According to the report, the rise in the food index was caused by increases recorded in the price of bread cereals, milk, cheese and egg, oil and fats as well as tea and cocoa.

    Experts had also cited insecurity, most especially in the Northern parts of the country as one of the factors responsible for the hike in food prices in the country.

    They have also identified zero infrastructure and climate change as other reasons.

    Buhari is not new to blame trading, an old 1984 Sunday Herald, often circulated online, had carried a story of Buhari, then a military head of state, blaming middlemen for a poor economy.

     

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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