Nigeria’s inflation jumps as food prices rise

As Nigeria grappled with fallout of the Coronavirus outbreak, inflation rate touched its two-year high of 12.34% in April with food prices rising as Nigerian adjusted to vagaries of living life under lockdown, according to latest statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the report, costs of living climbed higher by 0.08% when set beside the preceding month’s figure, which was 12.26%.

Food Index, the core component of the Consumer Price Index, which measures price shifts and patterns in a basket of 740 goods and services, escalated from 14.98% in March to 15.03%.

Upward movements in the prices yam, potatoes and other tubers, bread and cereals, fish, oil and fats, meat fruits and vegetables lifted the food index higher.

For over four years, Inflation has resisted the central bank’s wisdom to contain it and bring it below a two-digit figure within a band of between 6 and 9%, the latest being the apex bank’s decision, levying banks N1.4 trillion in April in order to mop up excess liquidity from the system and shore up the Naira.

The urban inflation rate stood at 13.01% in April, compared to the 12.93% reported in March. The rural inflation figure leapt from 11.64 to 11.73%.

Across the states, Sokoto posted the highest inflation rate at 17.88% while inflation was lowest in Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Enugu, which recorded negative inflation or falling in the prices of food within the period.

“The ”All items less farm produce” or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 9.98 per cent in April 2020, up by 0.25 per cent when compared with 9.73 per cent recorded in March 2020,” the statistics office said.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the central bank is expected to meet next week to adopt an interest rate and assess the impact of inflationary pressure and a weaker currency on the economy.