By Adedotun Aderoboye
As the country continues to struggle with the rise in the cost of food items thereby worsening their ability to feed efficiently, Nigerians have been charged to invest and save for the rainy days.
Economic experts gave this charge in their separate interviews with The Hope.
They advised stakeholders to concentrate on improving and increasing the local production of most of the food products consumed in the country.
They believe that food crisis in the country is worsened by the country’s overdependence on the importation of food.
Lecturer at the Department of Economics, Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo, Dr. Sharimaki Akinwumi blamed the inflation in the prices of food items experienced in the country on the Nigeria’s overdependence on importation of goods because of inadequate local production.
Dr. Sharimaki advised the government to encourage local production of food items by educating local farmers on how to increase their outputs through the use of modern equipments and also ensure that the modern equipments are made accessible for the farmers to use to increase their productivity.
His words: “Apart from the food items that are imported into the country, most of the food we produce in Nigeria are from the rural areas. So, there should be a forum where local farmers can be educated and trained on how to apply modern technology in farming. Most of our farmers do not have the required capital to purchase these modern equipments. So, government can help by giving local farmers access to the modern equipments.”
“The government should make sure that local producers have easy access to formal finance through the CBN and the commercial banks. Commercial banks should be instructed by the CBN to target local producers with loans and ensure proper monitoring so that the loans will be used for what they are meant for. If this is done, local producers will be able to invest in growth enhancing activities which will lead to higher future income and translate into growth in the economy.”
Another lecturer from the same Department, Ven. Dr. Joseph Ojewumi called on the government to take the lead in the push to reduce inflation in the country by providing an enabling environment to aid local production of goods in the country and encourage citizens to be more involved in the production by providing infrastructural facilities.
His words “our orientation and value system must be revamped. We must have a very strong minded government that improves the welfare and economic status of people in the country. Improving the welfare of people will make them to look for ways to increase the level of employment, renew the strength of government, build new companies and revamp the dead ones. These companies will begin to employ more youths, the production of those companies will come to our markets and make the prices of goods and services will reduce. If everyone plays their roles, we will have a better Nigeria.”
Dr. Ojewumi added that “the rate of inflation is growing. It is going up everyday. One of the implications is that poverty rate will continue to increase. The gap between the rich and the poor will continue to get wider. It will also discourage people from saving money and once that is discouraged, investments will also reduce.
This will definitely affect productivity and the prices of goods and services will continue to increase because of low productivity. Crime rate is also increasing because there is a very strong relationship among inflation rate, unemployment rate and crime rate.”