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Border closure causing rise in inflation —Finance Minister



Finance Minister allays fear over gov borrowings, says N25.7tr debt not worrisome

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Wednesday disclosed that the closure of the country’s land borders was contributing to rising inflation.

Figures from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics showed that the headline inflation stood at 11.61 per cent as of October.

Ahmed, while speaking to State House Correspondents, said inflation rose due to hike in food prices arising from border closure.

She was responding to questions after the Federal Executive Council in Abuja. The FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister noted that the closure of the borders was a temporary measure adopted by the government to protect the economy against trade malpractices by neighbouring countries.

READ ALSO: 2020 BUDGET: CBN sends early warning signals, identifies non-feasibility of $57 benchmark

“We are still discussing with our neighbours to ensure that we all respect our trade protocols, especially now that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is coming into effect,” she said.

In related developments, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursed a total of N171.66 billion through the Commodity Development Initiatives, to finance the agricultural value chain of ten ((10) commodities in three years.

This, according to CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was a premeditated move to control the effect of border closure in the country.

He said significant investments were made over the last three years to sustainably increase domestic food supply. Emefiele stated that the commodities invested in include Cassava, Cocoa, Cotton, Rice, Tomato, Poultry, Livestock and Dairy, Fish, Oil Palm and Maize.

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