Garba Shehu, the Special Assistant on President Buhari on Media and Publicity, says the prices of food items across the country are coming down contrary to public opinion.
The presidential spokesman made this known while reacting to the Buhari’s directive Thursday that the Central Bank of Nigeria should with immediate effect stop the release of money for food and fertiliser importation on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
According to Shehu, the president’s order to the CBN is in the best interest of the country.
He said: “To say the cost of food items is connected to the closure of the borders is absolutely wrong. And to say that the prices of food ain’t coming down, I think the scholar has detached himself from the market because we sat through the meeting of the National Food Security Council and we heard presentations by experts – people who had surveyed the markets.
“As of yesterday (Thursday) in the morning of the meeting, go and check the index in markets. For instance in Kano, millets that had gone up to N24,000 has now gone down to N12,000, N13,000. Rice that had been N25,000 is now N20,000. Corn, maize is now N18,000 for the old stock and N14,000, N15,000 for the new stock.
“So, to say that there is no change in the prices is to show one is completely detached from what is happening in the country.”
Speaking further while responding to comments that his claim is not the reality of many Nigerians, Garba said: “As the Germans say, if you want to get the best of the weather, open the windows. My suggestions to the journalists who sit and write all of these numbers is, send your correspondents to the streets, go to the markets and find out.
“I didn’t say that all of the prices, the changes had crashed completely. They are coming down because the harvested items are coming into the market. Prices are coming down, they will continue to go down as more and more food items are harvested. It’s a seasonal thing and we are going to see through this as well.”