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Senegal’s New Gov’t Announces Price Cuts On Essential Commodities

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At a time prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed in Nigeria with apparent lack of price control mechanism, Senegal’s new government has announced measures to cut prices on the same commodities, including rice, oil, bread, cement, and fertilizer, in response to growing concerns about the cost of living amid high unemployment and inflation rates.

Government Secretary General, Ahmadou Al Aminou Lo, informed journalists that the price reductions would be implemented in the coming days. This move was part of President Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to tackle the high living costs in the West African nation, which relies heavily on imports.

During a media conference on Thursday, the government detailed that the price of a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the most commonly consumed type of rice will drop by 40 CFA ($0.065, 0.061 euros), and the cost of a baguette will be reduced by 15 CFA (0.023 euros). The government also indicated that spending on food accounts for half of a typical Senegalese household’s budget. Lo emphasised that there would be increased monitoring to ensure traders comply with the new prices.

Budget Minister Cheikh Diba explained that to subsidise the price cuts, the government would forgo taxes and customs duties on importers. The measures were projected to cost 53.3 billion CFA (over 81 million euros, $87 million). However, the government has not specified how long these measures will remain in effect.

With at least a third of Senegal’s population living in poverty and an unemployment rate around 20 per cent, the price reductions aim to provide significant relief to citizens.

In a related development, Senegal has joined the ranks of oil-producing nations.

LEADERSHIP earlier reported that Australian oil company, Woodside Energy, announced the commencement of production in the country’s first offshore oil project. President Faye has also assured the public that profits from Senegal’s gas and oil resources will be “well managed”.