The current fuel crisis which has persisted for weeks is taking a heavy toll on food prices across major Nigerian cities. So far, the agriculture sector has taken a hit with prices of foodstuff on a steady rise, and the lamentations triggered by this situation are unprecedented.
Reacting to the situation, the Vice President, Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) and Group CEO, Best Foods Fresh Farms Ltd., Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, said it is difficult to say if the situation would be brought under control soonest. Ijewere stated that, “the first impact is that the prices of foodstuff are rising rapidly.
“There is a shortage of vehicles to help us with our logistics in the value chains because most of them are on queues and if they have to buy from the black market, they are buying at about four times the normal price. So this has created a problem on the highways with a lot of foods travelling across states’ boundaries” he said.
When you roll this back, at the end of the day, it’s the farmer who cannot evacuate his produce from the farm to the market. It’s the same big market that has a lot of foodstuff to sell to bulk buyers but cannot load them on vehicles because vehicles are not available. Some vehicles deliberately load and go and queue and that has an impact of further creating deterioration of the goods. So they are all victims”.
He lamented the inability of the government to get to the root of the bad fuel saga and take concrete action on anyone indicted. He said, “the situation about the bad fuel that is creating the problem is a reflection of the corruption in the system because for the heavy money Nigeria is paying for the importation of fuel, we should have a robust quality control system before we found ourselves in a huge situation where so much has been pumped into the Nigerian system creating so much problem.”