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Food inflation reaches 30.64% in Nigeria due to subsidy removal, naira devaluation

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The removal of subsidies and the devaluation of the naira have driven food inflation in Nigeria to 30.64% in September, worsening overall inflationary pressures. The Consumer Price Index surged to 26.72% in September, indicating a 0.92 percentage point increase from August’s 25.80%, as disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NBS reported that on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 5.94 percentage points higher compared to September 2022. The month-on-month basis showed a headline inflation rate of 2.10%, 1.08% lower than the rate in August 2023 (3.18%).

Food and non-alcoholic beverages (13.84%) contributed the most to inflation, followed by housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel (4.47%), clothing and footwear (2.04%), transport (1.74%), furnishings and household equipment and maintenance (1.34%), education (1.05%), and others.

The rise in food inflation in September was driven by increases in the prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, and milk, cheese, and eggs.

Kogi (32.95%), Rivers (30.63%), and Lagos (30.04%) recorded the highest inflation rates, while Borno (21.05%), Jigawa (22.39%), and Benue (23.22%) had the lowest. Kogi, Rivers, and Lagos also experienced the highest food inflation rates on a year-on-year basis.

Dr. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, expressed concern that persistent inflationary pressures could accelerate poverty and hinder economic growth. He emphasized the need for urgent government intervention to address supply-side challenges and incentivize the real sector of the economy. Tackling inflation, according to Yusuf, requires addressing production challenges, productivity, and insecurity. Concessionary import duties on intermediate products and logistics sector incentives were suggested as potential interventions.

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