By Obas Esiedesa
Rise in the prices of foodstuff has driven Nigeria’s inflation to 13.22 percent year-on-year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown.
The data released on Tuesday morning for the month of August showed that Food Sub-Index rose by 16 percent, contrary to claims by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, that the price of foodstuff was coming down.
Shehu had stated four days ago during a national television programme that: “To say the cost of food items is connected to the closure of the borders is absolutely wrong. And to say that the prices of food ain’t coming down, I think the scholar has detached himself from the market because we sat through the meeting of the National Food Security Council and we heard presentations by experts – people who had surveyed the markets.
“As of yesterday (Thursday) in the morning of the meeting, go and check the index in markets. For instance in Kano, millets that had gone up to N24,000 has now gone down to N12,000, N13,000. Rice that had been N25,000 is now N20,000. Corn, maize is now N18,000 for the old stock and N14,000, N15,000 for the new stock.
“So, to say that there is no change in the prices is to show one is completely detached from what is happening in the country.”
But the NBS report on the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 13.22 percent (year-on-year) in August 2020. This is 0.40 percent points higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (12.82 percent).
Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index, the report stated.
On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.34 percent in August 2020. This is 0.09 percent higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (1.25 percent).
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending August 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 12.23 percent, representing a 0.18 percent point rise from 12.05 percent recorded in July 2020.
NBS said highest increases were recorded in the price of bread & cereals, fish, potatoes, yams & other tubers, meat, oil & fats, fruits and vegetables.
The Core Sub-Index in August rose by 10.52 percent (y-on-y) and 1.05 percent (month-on-month) led by increases by passenger transport by air, hospital services amongst others.
The report also showed that inflation in Urban areas rose by 13.83 percent (y-on-y) and 1.42 percent (m-on-m) while in Rural areas inflation was 12.65 percent (y-on-y) and 1.42 percent (m-on-m).
In the states, inflation was highest in Kogi, Bauchi and Eonyi/Yobe at 17.29 percent, 15.77 percent and 14.71 percent (y-on-y) respectively.
However, inflation was slowest in Abuja with 11.17 percent followed by Kwara with 11.22 percent and Lagos with 11.45 percent.