Nigeria has declared a state of emergency as food prices surge.
- The move follows the president’s removal of fuel subsidies and sweeping exchange-rate reform.
- Food is becoming unaffordable to a majority of Nigerians.
- The government will use the savings from the removal of the subsidies on gasoline to revamp the agriculture sector.
- A National Commodity Board will be created to continually review food costs, maintain a strategic food reserve and moderate spikes and dips in prices.
- The government plans to release 500 000 hectares from land banks, including by clearing forested areas, to increase available farmland and boost agricultural output.
- Years of insecurity and recent flooding in the country’s north central region have reduced farming activities, leading to a sharp rise in prices.
- The removal of fuel subsidies could lead to a further acceleration in the price index to nearly 30% by end of the year.