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Nigeria’s Plans to Boost Food Supply to Reduce Inflation

President Bola Tinubu declared a state of emergency that will allow the government to take exceptional steps to improve food security and supply, as surging prices cause widespread hardship. The move will trigger a range of measures, including clearing forests for farmland to increase agricultural output and ease food inflation, Dele Alake, a spokesman for President Bola Tinubu, told reporters late Thursday. It follows the president’s removal of fuel subsidies and exchange-rate reform, which has seen the naira fall by 40% after its peg to the dollar was removed last month. Some of the initiatives include using money saved by the recent removal of a fuel subsidy to provide fertiliser and grain to farmers. Protection is also to be increased for farmers, many of whom have abandoned their land after becoming the target of gangs that kidnap for ransom. Poorer households are to be helped too with $10 a month for six months. The new monthly stipend is going to 12 million households via a scheme known as the National Safety Net Programme – it is separate from another initiative launched by the previous government through which they receive about $6 a month. These more vulnerable people are also likely to be getting access to grain and fertiliser being offered to farmers – although the statement was not clear on numbers.