Nigeria must address food inflation before subsidy removal – Budgit

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
Chief Executive Officer, Budgit, Seun Onigbinde

The Chief Executive Officer of a Nigerian civic group, Budgit Oluseun Onigbinde, has stated that the first thing the new administration needs to pay attention to is tackling inflation.

The CEO said this in an interview with Channels TV on April 30 during which he asserts that the government must find a solution to stop food inflation because, even if fuel subsidies are eliminated, if people can still eat at a reasonable price, a significant portion of the nation’s issues will be resolved.

In his words, “Food inflation is higher than the consumer price index, so you must find a way to tackle food inflation. There is no easy way out, but you must look at the entire value chain and see where there are the biggest points of waste and figure out where the components of inflation are happening.

“You must find a way to dip into your productivity for those crops. Crop production is still around 20 to 22% of our GDP. So, if there’s any place to tackle food inflation, it’s about crop production and the entire value chain around it.”

Onigbinde stressed that Nigeria must develop into a nation that can live without oil. He claimed that in order to do this, all parties involved must increase their ability and refrain from getting too used to the way things are.

He said, “We also need to focus on non-oil growth, especially non-oil exports, we must become an economy that exports things outside of oil. The current government has taken it forward a bit, but it has to be far more. We can’t be producing $4 billion of non-oil exports and pat ourselves on the back. We need to quadruple that figure. We need to build an economy that is non-oil driven.”

Onigbinde also talked about the subject of the nation’s revenues, which have not been great lately. He emphasized the need for the incoming administration to show fiscal responsibility. He maintains that implementing fiscal efficiency does not begin with budget cuts but rather with the culture of government.

He continued by saying that a culture of people syphoning off as much money from the government as they can only make matters worse. But the nation will achieve fiscal efficiency if there is a culture of knowing where the country is and showing restraint with spending.

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