Obi Decries Hike in Food Prices

… Says Inflation, Pushing More Nigerians into Poverty

By Chioma Ndife

The Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 elections, Mr Peter Obi, has lamented the continuous hike in food prices, saying if such trend is left unabated, more Nigerians could be further pushed into poverty.

He made this known during his visit to Mary Agro Farms, Udi, Enugu State, founded by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev Ernest Obodo. Obi described agriculture as a pivotal component of human existence.

Obi said that the hike in food prices was reducing the purchasing power of the people and generating more hunger in society, thus pushing more Nigerians into poverty. Quoting a recent World Bank report on Food Price Inflation, Obi said, ‘About 5.6 million additional Nigerians would be living in poverty while food price inflation will decrease purchasing power and raise poverty across Nigeria.

He explained that government must intervene with policies that would stop the rising cost of living, especially foods, as it was becoming increasingly difficult for many Nigerians to live above the poverty line.

While praising Bishop Obodo for undertaking such a productive venture capable of not only satisfying the food production needs of the immediate environment but generating jobs within the locality, Obi pointed out that the insecurity across the country had been the bane of farming in the nation.

Obi stated that government had a major role to play in growing the agricultural sector and improving food production. In his words, ‘Many farms today are abandoned by farmers due to high level of insecurity across the country, thus drastically reducing food production. Government needs to intervene and ensure that farmers go about their activities safely.

‘Again, when I talk about government’s support for businesses, it is something we cannot do without. The Bishop today has a large poultry, a big fish pond, a growing piggery and large farms for the cultivation of different kinds of crops with advanced technology. He achieved all this with personal resources. Imagine how far he will go if government gives him much needed necessary support,’ Obi said.

He pledged his support to Obodo’s agro projects saying, ‘as you know, I will always support any venture that will better our lives as humans and make our society better. The work you are doing here is admirable and I will always support you,’ Obi assured.