Prof. Job Nmadu, professor of Econometrics, on Thursday blamed the rising cost of food items, on the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Nmadu, Dean, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Minna, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The Dean also blamed the strike for the collapse of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He called for an amicable resolution of the impasse between the Federal Government and ASUU to enable students and lecturers go back to school.
“One factor contributing to increased prices of food items in Nigeria today is the ASUU strike.
“People might think it is just students and lecturers that are suffering it but it is affecting everyone particularly communities around our schools that make a living from them.
“These businesses have shut down for the past six months that ASUU embarked on strike and it is not funny at all.
“Unfortunately, some of these businesses might never pick up again, contributing to more collapse of SMEs, which is not good for national development,” he said.
Nmadu said high cost of production and forces of demand and supply also contributed to the rising cost of food items and business collapse.
“A lot of small scale businesses have closed down because of high cost of production, about a month ago, we were told that over 40 bakeries closed down in the FCT because of rising cost.
“That means that if we are looking at supply of bread alone, there has been reduction in supply and prices will go up because people will scramble for the few supply,” he said.
The don further blamed the current exchange rate which he described as a disturbing trend, on Nigeria industries depended on raw materials from other countries.
Nmadu also President, Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists (NAAE), said government needed to be particular on the country’s economic indices, Fiscal and Monetary policies among others.
“It is a complex situation but we must start from somewhere to salvage our small scale industries, which contribute greatly to Gross Domestic Product growth.
“So, we have to ensure that prices do not rise and we have to tackle other factors like insecurity, which has prevented many farmers from going to farm,” he said.