Central Bank Of Nigeria Governor, Cardoso Says Supply Shocks, Hyper-Inflation Cause Of Hunger, Hardship

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Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Olayemi Cardoso has disclosed factors responsible for hunger in the nation, saying there was a supply shock of food items preluding yuletide and the distribution challenges due to insecurity.

Cardoso spoke at an interactive session with the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, Banking, and Other Financial Institutions, and National Planning, explaining that there were economic, social, and security challenges that brought about food scarcity.

The Central Bank Governor was summoned by the joint Committee against the backdrop of the free fall of naira and acute hunger that has triggered pockets of protests in some states across the country.

Cardoso said: “Headline inflation surged to 28.92%, propelled by food shortages, distribution challenges, and seasonal trends. The festive season’s consumer demand upsurge, following subdued periods due to energy and foreign exchange reforms, contributed to this trend, persisting from November through December yearly.”

“The upward trend of food inflation is primarily due to supply shocks caused by insecurity, climate-induced factors such as flood and rainfall shortage in some cases, inefficient, subsistent and seasonal farming practices as well as importation bottlenecks that have impacted the prices of imported food items.”

“In December 2023, the economic landscape revealed significant shifts. The headline inflation stood at 28.92% in December 2023 as against 28.20 % in November, food inflation was 33.93% as against 32.84% in November, while core inflation was 23.06% as against 22.38% in October 2023.”

Cardoso attributed hyperinflation to organic food shortages but added that the government was addressing the menace through fiscal policies which may take time to work out.

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