The task force set up Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council to tackle rising cost of food items has clarified that its assignment is “not about government intervening directly in the market for staple foods either though purchases or price fixing.”
The task force clarified this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday during its inaugural meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement, quoted the task force as making the clarification at its meeting.
The taskforce, comprising the Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, Water Resources and Transportation, is expected to report back to the Federal Executive Council next week for “concrete actions”.
Akande said yesterday’s meeting focussed on understanding all factors contributing to unduly high food prices, especially at urban markets throughout the country.
He said the meeting also considered ways of urgently ameliorating the situation, particularly by addressing issues of affordability and availability.
He said the meeting identified factors that were most likely driving high food prices in some parts of the country despite bumper harvests at many farms.
He listed some of the factors identified as the poor state of rural infrastructure like roads, multiple revenue collecting points on the highways and inadequacy of distribution networks.
Akande said the meeting believed that all these factors contributed, among other things, to high transportation costs.