Nigeria’s Inflation Surges to 31.70% in February, According to NBS

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Nigeria’s inflation has surged to 31.70 percent in February, marking a substantial increase from the 29.90 percent recorded in January, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the ‘Consumer Price Index and Inflation Report’ for February obtained by Channels Television, the hike represented a 1.80 percent increase from the figure recorded in January.

On a year-on-year basis, the inflation rate in February 2024 was 9.79 percent higher compared to the same month in 2023, indicating a significant uptick in the cost of living for Nigerians.

The food inflation rate in February soared to 37.92 percent year-on-year, reflecting a 13.57 percent increase from February 2023. This steep rise was primarily driven by surging prices of essential food items such as bread, cereals, potatoes, yam, fish, oils, fats, meat, fruits, as well as coffee, tea, and cocoa.

“In February 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 31.70% relative to the January 2024 headline inflation rate which was 29.90%.

“Looking at the movement, the February 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.80% points when compared to the January 2024 headline inflation rate,” the report read in part.

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The data showed that on a year-on-year basis, Nigeria’s headline inflation rate was 9.79 per cent higher, compared to 21.91 per cent recorded in February 2023.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in February 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., February 2023),” the NBS said.

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Meanwhile, the food inflation rate in February was 37.92 per cent on a year-on-year basis. This was 13.57 per cent higher when compared to the rate recorded in February 2023 (24.35 per cent), according to the report.

“The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, oil and fat, meat, fruit, coffee, tea, and cocoa,” the report read.

The escalating food prices further exacerbate the challenges faced by households already grappling with high inflation rates.

The latest inflation figures coincide with ongoing efforts by authorities to address the soaring cost of living across the country. Recent policy changes, including the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the naira, have contributed to the upward trajectory of inflation.

Despite widespread concerns and protests, the government remains committed to implementing measures aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of rising inflation on citizens’ livelihoods.

Meanwhile,Governor Yemi Cardoso of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) remains optimistic about a potential decline in inflationary pressures in 2024.

He cites the CBN’s inflation targeting policy, set to rein in inflation to 21.4 percent, as well as anticipated improvements in agricultural productivity and easing global supply chain pressures.

“Inflationary pressures are expected to decline in 2024 due to the CBN’s inflationary targeting policy aiming to rein in inflation to 21.4 per cent, aided by improved agricultural productivity and easy global supply chain pressures.”

“The Nigerian foreign exchange market is currently facing increased demand pressures causing a continuous decrease in the value of naira,” he told members of the House of Representatives in February.

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