Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises Again, According to Reports by NBS
According to the Consumer Price Index report, recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s inflation rate for the month of March 2020, rose to 18.17% from 17.33% recorded in February 2021. This represents 0.82% points higher than the February figures.
Food inflation, a closely watched index spiked to 22.95% from 21.79% recorded in the previous month.The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, meat, vegetables, fish, oils and fats, and fruits.
The ”All items less farm produce” or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce rose to 12.67% in March 2021, up by 0.29% when compared with 12.38% recorded in February 2021.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of Passenger transport by air, Medical services,
Miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, Passenger transport by road, Hospital services, Passenger transport by road.
Others include; pharmaceutical products, paramedical services, vehicle spare parts, dental services, motor cars, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments.
Meanwhile, the urban inflation rate rose to 18.76% (year-on-year) in March 2021 from 17.92% recorded in February 2021, while the rural inflation rate jumped to 17.6% in March 2021 from 16.77% in February 2021.
The galloping nature of Nigeria’s inflation is an indication of the dwindling purchasing power of Nigerians. This implies that Nigerians spent more on purchasing goods and services in the month of March, compared to February.
The last time Nigeria recorded an inflation rate higher than 18.17%, was in January 2017 when headline inflation stood at 18.72%.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said in February that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has a major target to bring down inflation to single digits.
“The largest contributor to inflation in Nigeria is food inflation. When you decouple it, you find that transport costs are the largest contributor.
“Hence the decision to reduce import duties on tractors and other vehicles in the Finance Act 2020,” she said.