…highest since September 2005
- Bleak Christmas awaits Nigerians as prices soar
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BY BAMIDELE FAMOOFO
Nigeria’s headline inflation accelerated for another month (nine consecutive months) to 21.09 percent year-on-year in October from 20.77 percent in September.
The rise was 5.09 percentage points higher when compared to the rate recorded in October 2021, which was 15.99 percent and shows that the general price level increased in October 2022.
This was the highest inflation reading since September of 2005.
Also, it stays 9bps above our expectation for a slow acceleration to 21 percent due to supply disruptions caused by flooding in some food-producing regions. However, considering the fact that as we approach the year-end festive period, prices may begin to take another surge due to the continued weakening of the Nigerian naira.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in its recently published Consumer price Index which measures the rate of change in the prices on consumer commodities and services, the rise in the headline figures comes on the back of continued weakening of the Naira which grapples with the United States’ greenback and at its historic low; the bane of insecurity across the country, rising cost of importation as well as the expectations for a price surge ahead of the festive celebrations in the face of an awaited seasonal boost to food supplies from the post-harvest season and the anticipation of higher spending as the election campaign season kicks-off in full gear in October.
Analyzing the NBS report, Cowry Asset Management Limited, pointed out that on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate for October 2022 was 1.24 percent, 0.11 percent lower than the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.36%). This means that in October 2022 the general price level for the headline inflation rate (month–on–month basis) declined by 0.11 percent.
Meanwhile, the percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve months ending October 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 17.86 percent, showing a 0.91 percent increase compared to the 16.96 percent recorded in October 2021.
Further analysis into the major drivers of the surge in inflation during the reported month, according to the Abuja-based statistics office, was food inflation which climbed for the eighth straight month to 23.72 percent.
This climb poses to be the highest since October of 2005, amidst supply disruptions triggered by widespread flooding as witnessed across more than 30 states in the country.
Consequently, prices of imported food climbed 18.1 percent in October from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, increases in the prices of bread and cereals, food products, potatoes, yams and other tubers, oil and fat drove the food index higher.
In a related development, the official statistics authority noted in its report that there was an upward pressure which came from non-food products, such as housing & utilities which rose 16.8 percent as against 16.4 percent at the last reading; transport which rose 3 percent points to 19 percent; furniture & household equipment (16.9%); education (17.3%); health (17.4%); while miscellaneous goods & services (17.7%); and restaurant & hotels (16.5%) also contributed to the accelerated inflation.
However, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said that the country is currently finalising “Nigeria Agenda 2050” to succeed Vision 2020, which lapsed two years ago.
Ahmed said this on Monday in Abuja, at the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit.
The theme of this year’s edition is “2023 and Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity”.
According to the minister, the government has earlier formulated the National Development Plan, 2021- 2025 to succeed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, 2017- 2020.
“We are in the second year of the NDP, 2021-2025 with the private sector taking the lead.
“Although, challenged by a shortfall in revenues, the government has kept its pact by prioritising capital releases in favour of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in power, roads, rail, agriculture, health and education sectors.
“This is with a view to strengthen the Nigerian economy post COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
The minister said that resources were being mobilised with less emphasis on oil revenues.
She said that financing of the NDP 2021-2025 would rely heavily on domestic resource mobilisation from non-oil revenue sources through the results of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative and Finance Acts.
“This will improve and further diversify government revenues and entrench fiscal prudence and value for money,” she said.
Ahmed said that the theme for this year’s NES was carefully chosen to provide direction for stakeholders to examine the progress the present government had made in delivering the NDP, 2021-2025.
She said that the Nigeria Agenda 2050, which would be inaugurated soon, seeks to increase the country’s per capita Gross Domestic Product to $33,000.
Ahmed commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support to the NESG in the last seven years.
She said that the collaboration between the finance ministry and the group had provided the platform for regular dialogue and engagement with the private sector and other stakeholders.