An economist, Dr Olusegun Omisakin has urged the federal government to evolve more social inclusion programmes geared toward impacting on the welfare of citizens.
Omisakin, who is the Head of Research, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), made the appeal in an interview with journalists on Thursday in Lagos.
He was reacting to the May inflation rate report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on June 13.
According to the NBS, Headline inflation trended down year-on-year (YoY) for the 16th consecutive months to 11.61 per cent in May from 12.48 per cent in April.
The report, however, revealed that Composite Food index, which measures food inflation, rose Month-on-Month from 0.91 per cent in April to 1.33 per cent in May, representing the fourth consecutive monthly increase in Food inflation.
Omisakin said that for the declining inflation rate to impact on lives of Nigerians, government should increase its social inclusion programmes, create jobs for its massive unemployed population and make infrastructure functional.
“I do not think inflation rate coming down will immediately have major welfare effects on the people without addressing basic fundamental issues.
“I think it is pretty myopic that most economies measure people’s welfare by inflation, it is a mirage.
“If you do not have any job, inflation would worsen the situation. Inflation is the concern of people with source of livelihood, they want to know if they can purchase more goods with the money they have,” he said.
Omisakin said that government should find an urgent and lasting solution to issues of insecurity around the country, noting that its effect was reflecting on food production.
He noted that the decline in inflation rate was responding to stability in the foreign exchange market and availability of raw materials for manufacturers’ production.