By Umar Muhammad Puma
Reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and other reliable monitors of the Nigerian economy confirming a decline in inflation rate to 11.31% in February 2019, indicates that the robust economic policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are achieving their planned goals.
The latest fall in inflation rates, the third in the last six months, has put more money in the pockets of Nigerians as they pay less for more consumables in their households, the Buhari Media Organisation(BMO) said in a press statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr. Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Mr. Cassidy Madueke.
“The continued downward trend of inflation rate in Nigeria from an annual average of 12.46 per cent in 1996 until now at 11.31 is indicative of the impact of the policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari designed to put the economy on a sound footing,” BMO said.
“The falling prices of food in particular affirm that the drive to boost agricultural production in Africa’s biggest democracy is yielding the desired result, especially the attainment of 98 per cent sufficiency in domestic rice production”.
BMO noted that the findings by the NBS that the year-on-year food price level declined by 0.04 per cent to 13.47 per cent in February 2019, including prices of fish, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, vegetables, oils and fats and fruits, testify to the efficacy of the economic diversification drive of the administration in which the boosting of agriculture is a key pillar.
The group noted that farmers’ access to high quality seeds and other agricultural inputs with price support from the Federal and state governments through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) for dry season farming, boosted yields from irrigation farms where grains and vegetables were grown and are being harvested in large quantities.
“The promotion and support of aquaculture to bolster domestic food production and the availability of inputs for fish-food production contributed in the downward trend of fish and other food prices”, the group added in the statement.
Figures released by the NBS indicate that both the annual and monthly core sub-indices declined to 9.8% and 0.65% respectively in February from 9.9% and 0.81% in January 2019. This was mainly caused by a reduction in the prices of household appliances and materials.
The exceptional decline in the various elements of overall inflation, despite huge spending in a highly competitive election season, was attributed to the sound economic and fiscal policies being implemented by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Finance, among others.
“The mopping up of excess liquidity in the financial sector by the CBN in order to reduce the amount of Currency in circulation and control inflation, contributed in achieving the goal of taming the monster of inflation,” BMO concluded.