High Cost of Food: FG Contemplates Closing Borders, as 1000CFA exchanges for N2,200

Abubakar Kyari, Minister Agriculture, Food and Security.

By Innocent Orok

Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Security, has expressed apprehension about the scarcity of food in the nation. He also highlighted the subsequent rise in prices, saying the government is now contemplating two possible courses of action: Either closing the borders or increasing production for both domestic consumption and export purposes.

Kyari made this statement while engaging with the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, along with other members of the economic team, to discuss the current state of Nigeria’s economy. The key focus areas of concern were the increasing inflation, rising food prices, and the foreign exchange crisis.

He expressed regret that our country is presently confronted with an unquantified level of food being illegally exported to neighboring nations.

He clarified that due to the strengthening of the CFA currency in neighboring countries relative to the naira, Nigerian food products have become comparatively cheaper, consequently resulting in widespread unlawful transportation of goods through unguarded borders.

“One CFA is N2.20kobo, this means 1000 CFA is N2,200, this is something that was , N400-N500 few years ago. Because of the devaluation of naira, our food is the cheapest around the neighborhood, so you find a lot of undocumented exports which is smuggling across our porous borders”, Kyari said.

“We are trying to ramp up production, what we are faced with unfortunately, is to see how we can secure food for our 230 million people and at the same time, if this economics continues , we have to either seal our border, or produce for all other Africans”, he said.

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