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IMF predicts food crisis in Nigeria next year

THE International Monetary Fund has said that Nigerians should brace up for higher food prices/ risks in 2023 due to recent floods and high fertilizer prices.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, food inflation hit 23.72 per cent on a year-on-year basis in October 2022, with inflation on certain food items rising to between 50 – 100 per cent.

Despite that, the IMF has predicted that since recent floods have affected agricultural productivity, saying that food prices would worsen in 2023.

It added that the volatility in the value of the naira, the Federal Government’s continued dependence on the Central Bank of Nigeria for financing its budget deficit, and climate change were also risk factors.

The Washington-based lender disclosed this in its ‘Nigeria: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2022 Article IV Mission’ report seen by our correspondent at the weekend.

It said, “The effects of recent flooding and high fertilizer prices could become more entrenched impacting negatively both agricultural production and food prices in 2023.

“Similarly, further volatility in the parallel market exchange rate and continued dependence on central bank financing of the budget deficit could exacerbate price pressures. In the medium term, there are downside risks to the oil sector from possible price and production volatility, while climate-related natural disasters pose downside risks to agriculture.”

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