Concerns grow as Nigeria inflation hits 17-year high


ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s consumer inflation hit a 17-year high in August 2022, its statistics agency said on Thursday, signaling more hardship for citizens and businesses in Africa’s biggest economy.

The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported in its latest consumer price index that inflation rose to 20.5% in August from 19.6% in July this year and 17% in August this year. Last year.

This is the seventh consecutive monthly increase in inflation in Nigeria this year and the highest since 2005.

The rise in inflation was driven by “a disruption in the supply of food products, an increase in the cost of imports due to the continued depreciation of the currency and a general increase in the cost of production”, the agency said. of statistics.

The food inflation rate in August 2022 was 23.1 percent, the statistics agency said, blaming rising prices for some of the most common food items in Nigeria, including bread, cereals and tubers.

High consumer inflation for 17 years – more than double the Central Bank of Nigeria’s 9% target – is causing further concern among citizens and businesses in Nigeria, a country of more than 200 million people. ‘inhabitants.

Despite being Africa’s largest economy and one of the continent’s leading oil producers, corruption, insecurity and lack of good governance have caused economic hardship for many people in this country of West Africa.

Analysts also see “external shocks” from the war in Ukraine as a contributing factor to Nigeria’s rising inflation. With the rise in oil and gas prices, for example, “the number of our imports and the payment of subsidies have increased, which has an impact on the retail price of gasoline, which is essential for businesses on the Nigerian market,” said Ese Osawmonyi of Lagos-based SBM. Intelligence research firm.

The security concerns that killed thousands of people last year in northern Nigeria have also pushed food inflation higher by limiting supplies to some of Nigeria’s biggest food-producing states, said analyst Osawmonyi.

This comes on top of fears that the floods – which have displaced many homes and damaged crops on huge swaths of farmland in northern Nigeria – could have a further impact on food prices.

The flour market is one of the hardest hit by rising inflation in Nigeria. Some bakeries are now closing due to falling profits, according to Emmanuel Onuorah, who runs a bakery in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

“People are shutting down,” Onuorah said of the difficulties facing bakers and other businesses. “It is no longer profitable for us. You are simply supporting yourself.

ABC

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