Pres­i­den­tial task force: We won’t fix food prices

Weekly Trust - - News - Isi­aka Wak­ili

The task force set up Wed­nes­day by the Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil to tackle ris­ing cost of food items has clar­i­fied that its as­sign­ment is “not about gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­ing di­rectly in the mar­ket for sta­ple foods ei­ther though pur­chases or price fix­ing.”

The task force clar­i­fied this at the Aso Rock Pres­i­den­tial Villa in Abuja yes­ter­day dur­ing its in­au­gu­ral meet­ing presided over by Act­ing Pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo.

The Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Vice Pres­i­dent on Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity, Laolu Akande, in a state­ment, quoted the task force as mak­ing the clar­i­fi­ca­tion at its meet­ing yes­ter­day.

The task­force, com­pris­ing the min­is­ters of Fi­nance, Agri­cul­ture, Wa­ter Re­sources and Trans­porta­tion, is ex­pected to re­port back to the Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil next week for “con­crete ac­tions”.

Akande said yes­ter­day’s meet­ing fo­cused on un­der­stand­ing all fac­tors con­tribut­ing to un­duly high food prices, es­pe­cially at ur­ban mar­kets through­out the coun­try.

He said the meet­ing also con­sid­ered ways of ur­gently ame­lio­rat­ing the sit­u­a­tion, par­tic­u­larly by ad­dress­ing is­sues of af­ford­abil­ity and avail­abil­ity.

He said the meet­ing iden­ti­fied fac­tors that were most likely driv­ing high food prices in some parts of the coun­try de­spite bumper har­vests at many farms.

He listed some of the fac­tors iden­ti­fied as the poor state of ru­ral in­fra­struc­ture like roads, mul­ti­ple rev­enue col­lect­ing points on the high­ways and in­ad­e­quacy of dis­tri­bu­tion net­works.

He also dis­closed that the task force would be co­or­di­nat­ing var­i­ous min­istries, de­part­ments and agen­cies.

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