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Pass new minimum wage Act like you did national anthem – Falana



Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has called on the National Assembly to swiftly approve a law to establish a revised minimum wage that aligns with the current economic situation in the country, similar to how they recently did for the national anthem.
According to him, the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 had expired making it crucial for the government at all levels to review and pass a new law to that effect.

“Pursuant to the National Minimum Wage Act 2019, the national minimum wage was fixed at N30,000. By virtue of section 3(4) of the Act 2019 the national minimum wage expires after five years, and it shall be reviewed in line with the provisions of this Act.

“Since the commencement date of the Act was the 18th day of April 2019, the national minimum wage of N30,000 has since expired.

He added that the Federal Government had announced an additional N35,000 wage award (wage subsidy) for six months, following the removal of the fuel subsidy. starting from 1 September 2023.

However, the Federal Government turned around to offer a minimum wage of N48,000 which led to the commencement of an indefinite strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress due to the failure of government and other employers of labour to pay a realistic new minimum wage to Nigerian workers.

Falana continued, “However, it has been reported that the leaders of the National Assembly have intervened in the planned strike.

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“The National Assembly should, therefore, speedily pass a new National Minimum Wage Act like the new National Anthem Act that was enacted within 48 hours, last week.”

Source: Daily post


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Parliamentary system, single-term Presidency signpost hard choices before Nigerians



Parliamentary System, Single-Term Presidency Signpost Hard Choices Before Nigerians

After the return to the old national anthem, which is now ironically the “new national anthem,” Nigerians face additional significant decisions.

Sixty members of the House of Representatives are rallying prominent Nigerians to support a shift from the current presidential system to a parliamentary system, which they argue is less costly and less cumbersome. In February, these lawmakers sponsored three bills to amend the 1999 Constitution to implement this change by 2031. The bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1115); Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1116); and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1117).

At a press briefing following the presentation of these bills, their spokesman, Abdussamad Dasuki, highlighted the cross-party and regional collaboration behind the proposal.

He argued that the current presidential system, modelled after the United States, still retains characteristics of military rule, making the Nigerian president one of the most powerful in the world.

Dasuki cited high governance costs and excessive executive powers as major flaws of the presidential system.

“No wonder the Nigerian president appears to be one of the most powerful presidents in the world. Over the years, the imperfections of the presidential system of government have become glaring, despite several alterations to the constitution to address the shortcomings of a system that has denied the nation the opportunity to attain its full potential,” Dasuki remarked.

He elaborated on the high cost of governance under the current system, which leaves fewer resources for crucial areas like infrastructure, education and healthcare, thereby hindering national development. The excessive powers vested in executive members, who are appointees and not directly accountable to the people, were also highlighted as a significant issue.

“Our founders, in their wisdom and in a political atmosphere devoid of compulsion, considered the interests of their native peoples and their desire to live together in a country where truth and justice reign, where no man is oppressed, and where all citizens live in peace and plenty. They adopted the parliamentary system of government, which was the governance system of the First Republic. For six years while it was in operation, the system worked for the country,” Dasuki said.

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The lawmakers have initiated broader consultations with key stakeholders in the country, having met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Professor Ango Abdullahi, and other influential figures who have expressed support for the proposal.

Earlier this week, another group of over 30 members of the House of Representatives proposed a single six-year term for the president and governors, as well as a proposition for two vice presidents, alongside other electoral reforms. The members, under the aegis of ‘Reform Minded Lawmakers’, detailed their proposals in 50 bills presented before the House for amendment.

At a press conference, spokesman Rep. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere emphasised the urgent need for constitutional and electoral reforms to address Nigeria’s ongoing issues since independence. He highlighted the group’s commitment to reducing governance costs, ensuring equity and combating corruption through legislative instruments.

“We are a group of over 30 reform-minded lawmakers from different political parties committed to ensuring a working Nigeria using legislative instruments within our power. We aim to ensure the reduction of the cost of governance and campaigns; unite our country, ensure a seamless transition, continuity, uninterrupted development, justice, equity, independence of INEC, efficient use of state resources, and tackle nepotism, state capture, and corruption in electoral processes,” Ugochinyere said.

The lawmakers proposed several significant reforms, including the constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones, the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones, and a single six-year tenure for the president and governors.

These changes aim to reduce government spending, increase efficiency in governance, and provide national stability.

Among the proposed amendments is the creation of two vice presidents’ offices to emerge from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria. The first vice president would be a succession vice president, while the second would be a minister in charge of the economy.

Another proposed amendment is that of financial autonomy and accountability of local government councils by prescribing an independent consolidated local government council account and imposing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of local government funds.

There are also amendments to ensure state governments remit allocations to local government councils within their jurisdiction, with penalties for non-compliance. These, however, may be belated if the federal government succeeds in its suit against the state governments now before the Supreme Court to secure an order granting full autonomy to the local governments.

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Ugochinyere further stressed the necessity of electoral reforms to improve Nigeria’s democratic processes. These include: conducting all elections (presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state houses of assembly and local governments) on the same day; ensuring election results align with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine; and holding INEC officers accountable for declaring false results through civil and criminal actions.

Others are resolving all election-related litigations before the winners are sworn into office and making all election-related documents and materials available to those who participated in elections and who have reason to question the outcomes.

The lawmakers acknowledged the significant challenges facing Nigeria, including economic hardship, insecurity, disunity, weak institutions, corruption and wastage of state resources. They stressed the critical phase Nigeria is in and the importance of their reform efforts for the country’s survival as a political and economic unit.

Experts and civil society organisations (CSOs) have, however, expressed mixed reactions to the proposals.

Dr Abubakar Kyari of the University of Abuja opposes both the return to parliamentary system and the single six-year term, arguing that governance issues stem from implementation rather than system structure.

“I am not convinced by the reasons advanced by the canvassers of this particular position. They have mentioned the issue of cost. I think the issue of cost is just a matter of the implementers and not the system. No matter what system of government is operated, as long as there are no checks and balances, or as long as there are no deliberate attempts to ensure that officials of government do not turn the public treasury into their own personal treasury, there will be profligacy and unnecessary spending of resources,” Kyari said.

He further critiqued the idea of returning to regionalism, questioning how the regions of 1960–1966 could be relevant today. He also argued that the current geopolitical zones do not reflect present realities and that any such move would be impractical.

His position on the parliamentary system of government reiterated that earlier espoused by Professor Auwalu Yadudu, a renowned constitutional lawyer.

READ ALSO  Parliamentary system, single-term Presidency signpost hard choices before Nigerians

In an earlier interview with Daily Trust, Yadudu said with the current situation in Nigeria, a return to the parliamentary system of government may become a recipe for inertia and chaos.

“You simply don’t know what exactly the parliamentary system will throw out for you, because I can imagine the kind of instability, political inertia, and even the total chaos in the country if you were to go for parliamentary system of government, which is so prone to instability, and given our ethnic, religious and geopolitical differences, I don’t see people really minding their business and allowing the system to work for five years,” he said.

On his part, Mallam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), spoke on the need for democratic, transparent and inclusive power rotation at both federal and state levels.

He warned against federal overreach into state affairs, as exemplified by the Kano State emirate crisis, which he argued undermined state rights.

“In addition to the rotational presidency and governorship positions, Nigerians are demanding that a five-year single term be adopted to create political stability and inclusion for now,” Rafsanjani said.

Also, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, Executive Director of Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), called for caution and vigilance regarding the proposed bills, questioning the motives behind their initiation.

While supporting some aspects, such as the single tenure and financial autonomy for local governments, he raised concerns about expanding bureaucracy with the introduction of two vice presidents and the implications for the electoral cycle.

“Conducting two different elections for the legislative and executive arms will not only erode the gains from reducing the election cycle for the president and governors by two years but will further increase the overall cost of elections,” Zikirullahi noted.

Thus, while the proposed constitutional and electoral reforms by Nigerian lawmakers aim to address critical governance and political issues, they have sparked significant debate among experts and civil society. The discussions and consultations continue as Nigeria navigates these complex political reforms, with the potential for a substantial impact on the country’s future.

Source: Dailytrust


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Don’t leave politics for politicians alone – VP, Shettima to Nigerians



10th Senate: I was misinterpreted by agent of division, says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has called on Nigerians not to leave politics to politicians alone, asking for a synergy between the government and business leaders.

The Vice President said the partnership is necessary to propel Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity.

He said open dialogue, shared insights, and collaborative work between the public and private sectors were panacea to developing solutions tailored towards Nigeria’s realities.

The Vice president made the call at the Heirs Holdings Group Directors’ Annual Summit Dinner in Abuja, on Friday, and called for synergy between the political class and economic stakeholders, noting that the two spheres are not opposites but complementary forces vital for national stability and progress.

“Politics is too important to be left to the politicians, and enterprises that define our economic destination are too important to be left to the businessmen alone to develop,” he said.

While aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s economic agenda, Shettima urged conglomerates to serve as pipelines for the administration’s practical economic vision, departing from cosmetic reforms of the past.

“Collaboration between the public and private sectors is the ingredients of a thriving economy. We must engage in open dialogue and share insights and work together to crop solutions that are peculiar to our realities. Whether it is tackling unemployment, reducing poverty, or enhancing education and healthcare, our partnership must aspire to drive sustainable development and create a safe future for all Nigerians,” he added.

Source: Daily post


READ ALSO  Emir of Kano: Bayero wins as court awards N10m damages in his favour
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Controversial DSTV owners, Multichoice has N31.6 billion with liquidated Heritage Bank



Multichoice Group, owners of DSTV, had an account balance of N31.6 billion with Heritage Bank, before the bank’s liquidation.

Multichoice Group, owners of DSTV, had an account balance of N31.6 billion with Heritage Bank, before the bank’s liquidation.

According to the group’s annual report for FY 2024, Multichoice had a deposit of N33.7 billion (488 million South African Rands) with the bank as of the 2024 fiscal year end on March 31, 2024.

However, that balance was subsequently reduced to N31.6 billion (ZAR 400 million) due to cash remittances before the bank’s liquidation on June 3, 2024.

The significant deposit raises concerns for the group, as the sum far exceeds the N5 million maximum payout guaranteed by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC).

However, according to Multichoice’s annual report, the group will engage the liquidator (NDIC) to “ensure a reasonable outcome is achieved”.

What the NDIC is doing
In a press release dated June 3, 2024, the NDIC announced the liquidation of Heritage Bank. The statement specified that depositors with funds exceeding N5 million will receive a liquidation dividend, contingent upon realising the bank’s assets and recovering its outstanding debts.

In line with this step of selling the bank’s assets, the NDIC has announced a public bidding process for the sale of Heritage Bank assets.

The NDIC through a newspaper advert on June 13, 2024, noted,

“The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation in the exercise of its rights as Liquidator of failed Deposit Money Banks hereby invites interested members of the general public to buy the assets (landed property and chattels) of defunct Heritage Banks through public competitive bidding.”

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Multichoice and Heritage Bank had strong ties in the past, as the bank was a sponsor of the group’s endeavours, such as Big Brother Naija and the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA).

Multichoice Nigeria’s financial troubles
In its FY 2024 annual report, Multichoice Group reported a repatriation of $184 million from Nigeria, representing a 39.4% increase from the $132 million from the previous fiscal year.

However, the group’s remittances from Nigeria drove down its cash balances to $39 million, from $104 million as of FYE 2023.

Multichoice Group also incurred significant losses on its cash repatriations from the Nigerian market due to exchange rate instabilities.

During the fiscal year, Multichoice incurred losses of about ZAR 1.064 billion on cash remittances, due to the translation differences between the official and parallel exchange rate.

The group’s flagship product, DSTV reported an 18% decline in active subscribers in Nigeria, as Nigeria’s contribution to the group’s revenue excluding South Africa, dropped to 35%, from 44% as of FYE 2022.

Multichoice’s betting business, BetKing Nigeria, reported a 37% growth in online users in FY 2024, with its revenue growing by 26% in Naira. However, in USD, BetKing reported a revenue of $147 million, marking a 26% decline from FY 2023.

During the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, DSTV increased its subscription fee twice in Nigeria. According to the group, the reason was to “track inflation that exceeded 30%”. However, due to its price increases, Multichoice Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm in Nigeria.

On April 29, 2024, the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) sitting in Abuja restrained Multichoice Nigeria from increasing the subscription of DStv and GOtv in a ruling on a motion filed by Mr. Festus Onifade.

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However, in a subsequent ruling on May 7, Multichoice Nigeria challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal in restraining it from a price increase.

Then on June 7, 2024, the tribunal fined Multichoice Nigeria N150 million for challenging its jurisdiction to rule on the motion, while ordering the company to give Nigerians, a one-month free subscription.


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‘Innoson Motors not sincere’- Assembly drags locally made vehicles firm



The Abia House of Assembly has threatened to terminate its contract with Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Ltd for allegedly failing to

The Abia House of Assembly has threatened to terminate its contract with Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Ltd for allegedly failing to fulfil its agreement to produce vehicles for all the lawmakers.

The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa announced this on Thursday in Umuahia during a media interaction marking the one-year anniversary of the 8th Assembly.

Emeruwa expressed regret that members had not received their vehicles a year after their inauguration. He noted that the preference for Innoson vehicles was driven by Governor Alex Otti’s initiative to promote local products. Emeruwa stated that Innoson had received full payment to produce the vehicles but had failed more than 10 times to deliver them.

He stated, “So far, Innoson has not been able to produce or perform its own side of the agreement. At this point, we are on the verge of terminating that contract and asking for our money back if he doesn’t perform within the next 15 days. This house is very serious about it and they cannot continue pacifying us after one year,”

Presenting the one-year scorecard of the 8th Assembly, the Speaker announced that five out of 15 bills had been passed into law. He highlighted that the House had also made 40 resolutions, received 46 petitions, and handled 55 motions.

He emphasized the Assembly’s high level of activity, expressing confidence that even more would be accomplished by this time next year. The Speaker also noted the peaceful nature of the 8th Assembly and its positive relationship with the Executive.

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The government of Abia state entered a partnership with Innoson Motors where it purchased most of the vehicles used by the state’s government officials- a move aimed at promoting local production in the auto industry.

The partnership led the Governor of Abia state, Dr. Alex Otti to ask the Chairman of the company to establish another vehicle manufacturing plant in the state.

Innoson vehicles usually generate the bulk of their revenue from contracts to governments and corporate organisations rather than B2C.

The company since the administration of President Buhari has enjoyed significant federal government support through purchases of vehicles for Ministries and government agencies. Even the military is not left out as the Army has made notable purchases from the company.

The company has also made international sales with other sovereign governments in Africa with the purchase by the government of Sierra Leone a notable example.


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Emir of Kano: Bayero wins as court awards N10m damages in his favour



The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has awarded the dethroned Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the sum of N10,000,000 for

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has awarded the dethroned Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the sum of N10,000,000 for the breach of his fundamental rights, personal liberty, and freedom of movement.

Delivering judgement on the matter, the presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, ruled that it was wrong for the Kano state governor to order Bayero’s arrest without lawful justification.

Justice Amobeda described the order given by Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf for the arrest of Aminu Bayero as unlawful and that which has forced the applicant into house arrest for fear of been arrested.

The respondents in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation as 1st respondent, Attorney General of Kano State (2nd), Nigeria Police Force (3rd), IGP (4th), Commissioner of Police in Kano (5th), DSS (6th), NSCDC (7th), Nigerian Army (8th), Nigerian Airforce and Nigerian Navy as 9th and 10th respondents respectively.

The Judge however, restrained the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th from arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant or further interfering with the Applicant’s fundamental rights.

The judgement reads: “That, the act of the Governor of Kano State in directing the Police to arrest the Applicant without any lawful justification is a threatened breach of the fundamental right to Liberty of the Applicant guaranteed under Section 35(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).

“That, the act of the Governor of Kano State in directing the police to arrest the Applicant without any lawful justification, which directive has forced the Applicant into house arrest, preventing him from going freely about his lawful business, constitutes a flagrant violation of his fundamental right to freedom of movement as guaranteed under Section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).

READ ALSO  Nigerians face most expensive Sallah in 30 years as price of ram, tomatoes skyrocket

“That the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Respondents are either by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, or any other person or authority forthwith restrained from arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant or further interfering with the Applicant’s fundamental rights.

“That the 2nd Respondent and the Government of Kano State shall pay to the Applicant the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only for the breach and likely breach of the Applicants fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).

“The prayer for the cost of filing and prosecuting this suit is refused, the amount having not been specifically pleaded and strictly proved,” Justice Amobeda however ordered.

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Nigerians face most expensive Sallah in 30 years as price of ram, tomatoes skyrocket



As Sallah approaches, Nigerians, particularly the Muslim faithful, will be struggling with record-high inflation, which has driven up the

As Sallah approaches, Nigerians, particularly the Muslim faithful, will be struggling with record-high inflation, which has driven up the costs of rams, tomatoes, bags of rice and other food items.

A Nairametrics market survey shows that ram prices have nearly doubled since last year, and staples like tomatoes have also seen big price hikes.

These rising costs make it hard for families to afford traditional Sallah celebrations. This year, many may be bracing up for what could be the most expensive Sallah in over three decades.

Nigerians are bracing up for the most expensive Sallah holidays in over 30 years as prices of essential food items such as rice, tomatoes and ram hit record highs.

Nigeria is currently experiencing its highest inflation rate in over 30 years with food inflation notching a near 40-year high.

The country has not had things this bad in decades.

For most Nigerians, the Muslim Eid-el-Kabir (Sallah) festive period is a time of vibrant celebrations, hearty food sharing, and generous gift-giving within their neighbourhoods.

The homes of the Muslim faithful and local mosques come alive with the traditional slaughtering of the Ileya ram, a cherished part of the festivities.

This year, however, Sallah might be remembered as one of the most expensive ever, thanks to a severe economic downturn and soaring inflation, which have driven up the prices of rams, tomatoes, rice and other food items across the country.

For instance, Alhaji Bakare Akinyele, speaking to Nairametrics, highlighted the challenges he faces in purchasing the Ileya ram this year.

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Akinyele, who supports two wives and six children, usually buys both a ram and a cow to celebrate with extended family and friends.

“It’s going to take a miracle to get my hands on the traditional Ileya ram,” he lamented, noting that prices have surged past N300,000 in Lagos.

Bakare considered sourcing a ram from the far north or north-central regions, but the cost of transporting the livestock—now exacerbated by the removal of fuel subsidies—would match or even exceed the prices in Lagos.

For him, the dream of having both a cow and a ram for Sallah is no longer feasible. This year, he’s settling for just the essential ram, scaling back his usual grand celebration and limiting the guest list.

“I’ve managed to save enough for the ram, but the cow is out of reach now, priced at over N1 million. We simply can’t afford that,” he said.

A recent market survey
The troubling story of Akinyele is far from an isolated case; it echoes the harsh realities of today’s market.

A recent survey by Nairametrics in Lagos and Abuja revealed a staggering 200% increase in livestock prices over the past year, fueled by food inflation, subsidy removal, and other economic pressures.

In Lagos’ bustling Agege abattoir, vendors and butchers paint a grim picture. Rams that once sold for N100,000 to N150,000 now command prices between N300,000 and N400,000, marking a sharp 150% surge.

Dare, a seasoned seller, gestures towards a medium-sized ram. “Last year, this would have gone for N100,000. Now, I can’t sell it for less than N300,000. It just doesn’t pay,” he tells Nairametrics. “Everything has gone up.”

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The story is much the same for tomatoes and bags of rice.

In an Abuja market, a basket of tomatoes goes as high as N120,000 to 150,000.

Ibrahim, a dealer in the pepper and tomato business, told Nairametrics that a basket of tomatoes in this season can go as high as N200,000 “Most people can’t afford these things anymore,” he admits.

Last month, the same basket would have gone for N40,000 or even less.

Nairametrics found similar trends in Lagos’ Mile 12, Igando, Iyana Iba, and Ayobo markets when it comes to the price of other foodstuffs.

A bag of rice now sells between N79,000 and N90,000, depending on the type of rice one is purchasing.

The same was observed when it comes to a paint bucket of garri which was sold for around N600 last year but is now selling between N3,800 and N4,200, with an increase of over 400%.

Low Patronage Deflate Market Morale
Meanwhile, Nairametrics found that not only buyers but also sellers are feeling the pinch this festive season.

Typically, ram sellers eagerly anticipate this period as a peak time for business.

However, this year, enthusiasm and morale seem markedly low.

Ridwan, a seller in Lagos, shared his concerns with Nairametrics. “By now, customers ought to have been flooding this place. You should have seen them in numbers. But I guess the economy is touching everyone,” he lamented. “We hardly sell four or six rams per day here now. Believe me, it’s like the season is not yet upon us.”

When asked about the reasons behind the spike in livestock prices, Mr. Ayodeji, another livestock dealer, pointed to the soaring cost of feed. “First, it’s the feeds. In 2023, a bag of feed for cows and rams was just N7,000. Ask anybody—they’ll tell you. But now, we buy it for about N20,000 to N22,000,” he explained.

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The combination of higher costs and decreased customer spending is creating a challenging environment for both buyers and sellers as the festive season approaches.

High Food Inflation Dampens Festive Celebration

According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food inflation in Nigeria is above 40%, making it extra difficult for many to purchase food items.

In a recent survey done by Nairametrics, a price of basket of tomatoes was priced as high as N150,000 in the month of May while it sold for N40,000 in the month of April.

“Inflation is malignant to any economy,” Olufemi Idris, a Lagos-based economist said. “Until something is done about the high cost of food production, the malignancy will eat deep into the pocket of anyone, whether you’re celebrating Sallah or not.”

For the president of All Farmers Association, Ibrahim Kabir, who spoke to Nairametrics in a phone conversation, the problems are multifaceted. But more specifically, government interventions particularly for farmers have been remarkably low.

“The federal government needs to invest more in farming. Whether it’s livestock or crops, the most important thing is capital. Once farmers start getting low-interest loans, they will have more money, more resources to grow their farms,” Kabir said.


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