THE International Monetary Fund has said that Nigerians should brace up for higher food prices and risks in 2023 due to recent floods and high fertiliser prices.
The Washington-based lender disclosed this in its Nigeria: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2022 Article IV Mission report released over the weekend.
Explaining that “the effects of recent flooding and high fertilizer prices could become more entrenched impacting negatively both agricultural production and food prices in 2023,” the reports also said “similarly, further volatility in the parallel market exchange rate and continued dependence on central bank financing of the budget deficit could exacerbate price pressures. In the medium term, there are downside risks to the oil sector from possible price and production volatility, while climate-related natural disasters pose downside risks to agriculture.”
It will be recalled that National Bureau of Statistics recently said that 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.
But despite that, IMF has predicted that since recent floods have affected agricultural productivity, saying that food prices would worsen in 2023.