Nigeria’s food prices soar as inflation falls again

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Nigeria’s inflation rate fell for the second consecutive month in May to 17.93 per cent from 18.12 per cent recorded a month earlier.

The National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday that the prices of goods and services, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 17.93 per cent in May 2021 when compared to May 2020.

Though the scale of increase remained high, it was 0.05 per cent lower than what obtained a month earlier, NBS said.

There was no respite in terms of increase in food prices as food inflation rose in May to 22.28 per cent, compared with 22.72 per cent in April 2021.

Inflationary pressures have never abated since the Buhari administration announced a shutdown of Nigeria’s porous land borders with all neighbours in October 2019 in a move seeking to spur mass production of food as well as curb smuggling and associated corruption.

Attacks on farms, forex scarcity and naira devaluation have contributed to seeing local food demand outweighing production, causing food prices to steadily rise.

According to the NBS, this rise in the food index in May was caused by increases in prices of bread, cereals, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, soft drinks, coffee, tea and cocoa, fruits, meat, oils and fats and vegetables.

It added that on a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.05 per cent in May 2021, up from 0.99 per cent recorded in April 2021.

“The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending May 2021 over the previous twelve-month average was 19.18 per cent, points from the average annual rate of change recorded in April 2021 (18.per cent),” it said.

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