The International Monetary Fund says Nigerians should brace up for higher food prices and risks in 2023 due to recent floods and high fertilizer prices.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, food inflation hit 23.72 per cent on a year-on-year basis in October 2022, with inflation on certain food items rising to between 50 – 100 per cent.
Despite this, the IMF has predicted that since recent floods have affected agricultural productivity, food prices would worsen in 2023.
It added that the volatility in the value of the naira, the Federal Government’s continued dependence on the Central Bank of Nigeria for financing its budget deficit, and climate change are all the risk factors of the prediction.
The Washington-based lender disclosed this in its ‘Nigeria: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2022 Article IV Mission’ report.
It added that despite Nigeria’s limited direct exposures, the war in Ukraine is also affecting the nation through higher domestic food prices.
The IMF said high food insecurity was compounding the pandemic’s effect on Nigeria’s vulnerable.
It stated that the nation’s headline inflation should moderate by the end of 2022 because of the start of the harvest season, although it also projected an increase in rice prices caused by recent flooding.
The IMF further stated that over the next 10 years, the nation would have to create about 25 million additional jobs.
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