Dear Subscriber,

Massive flooding in parts of northern Nigeria has devastated households and livelihoods, leading to food shortages and major disruptions to the agricultural value chain. The floods, which began in May/June, coincided with the drop in agricultural sector expansion which fell to 1.19% in the second quarter of 2018 – down from a 3% expansion in the previous quarter. This underscores the need for Federal Government support of the affected states in the form of flood defense to avert a food crisis in one of the poorest regions in the country. This will also suppress the resultant inflationary pressures.

Rice, one of the commodities affected by the floods, is a common staple across many Nigerian households. Certain funding and policy intervention programs implemented by the government have seen rice importation decline by over 90% and attracted investments in excess of N300bn. However, Nigeria’s objective of self-sufficiency by 2020 will be mere rhetoric if the challenge of smuggling is not addressed.

On the bright side, state governments are collaborating to produce cheaper variants such as the Lagos-Kebbi rice, popularly known as LAKE rice. Increased partnerships of this nature need to be encouraged if the government’s vision to be self-sufficient by 2020 is to become reality.

In this edition of the FDC Bi-monthly publication, the FDC Think-Tank analyzes these issues and their implications on businesses and the economy at large.

Enjoy your read.