Corn rises to N800 per Congo as subsidy removal bits Nigerians harder

As fuel prices continue to rise nationwide, a Congo of corn has jumped to N800 from N600 barely three weeks ago.

A market survey by Peoples Gazette on Thursday showed that in about three weeks, a mudu of corn is sold at N800, representing over a 33.3 per cent increment from N600.

The skyrocketing price of corn, one of the most popular grains consumed by Nigerians and used for animal feed, signals hunger as citizens grapple with hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.

Tinubu, at his 69th birthday colloquium in 2021, counselled the federal government on recruiting 50 million youths into the military and recommended that they be fed with “agbado” (the Yoruba word for corn).

“We are under-policed and we are competing with armed robbers and bandits to recruit from the youths who are unemployed. Thirty-three per cent unemployed?” Mr Tinubu said. “Recruit 50 million youths into the army! What they will eat — cassava, agbado (corn), yam — we’ll grow here.”

Subsequently, “agbado” became a symbol of Mr Tinubu’s campaign, with many of his supporters being addressed as “agbado” footsoldiers. But in a few weeks into his government, corn gradually became unaffordable for many.

The president, in his inaugural speech, announced the immediate end to fuel subsidy, triggering pump prices from N145 to N545. On Tuesday, the pump price hit N617, a development that further raised food items and transportation costs.

To cushion the ripple effect of the increased pump price, Mr Tinubu announced a $10, equivalent of N53 daily, palliative for 12 million households. The government, however, reversed the idea, which was trailed by criticisms.

In June, the World Bank reported that about 64 million Nigerians were at risk of a food crisis by August.

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