The Federal Government spent about N1.85 trillion on food imports in 2020 despite the closure of the land borders, the presidential Economic Advisory Council (ECA) has said.
Chairman of the ECA, Doyin Salami made this known at the 2021 National Economic Outlook event organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held virtually on Tuesday.
AgroNigeria had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of Nigeria’s land borders with Neighbouring countries in August 2019 to curb the smuggling of rice, other commodities and weapons.
According to Salami, “Despite border closure, our national import of food amounted to N1.85 trillion between January and September 2020, a 62 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2019.
“This suggests a weakness in our ability to feed ourselves and raises the need to consider a review of intervention policies in agriculture.
“Agriculture continues to decelerate growing at 1.7 percent year-to-date while consumer sensitive sectors like manufacturing and distribution continue to contract in double digits,” he said.
This, according to Salami, was partly as a result of the serious climatic concerns which were undermining agricultural output.
He also noted that about 2.5 million farmers were impacted by floods in 2019.
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