After seeing inflation drop to a significant low in August, things may have taken a bad turn for Nigeria rather quickly.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated, in its latest inflation report, that inflation in Nigeria has increased to 11.24 percent; a three-month high.
According to the NBS, Nigeria’s consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased in September. Inflation rose by 0.22 percent points, higher than the 11.02 percent recorded in August and 11.08 percent reached in July 2019.
In the same vein, food inflation rose to 13.51 percent compared to 13.17 percent in the previous month. According to the NBS, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, oils and fats, meat, potatoes, yam and other tubers, as well as fish and vegetables.
Similarly, Core Inflation, which is measured by ”All items less farm produce”, rose to 8.94 percent from the 8.68 percent recorded in August 2019.
The prices of such articles as cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, repair of household appliance, hospital services, major household appliances, and glassware, among others, posted the highest increases in the month of September. And that’s according to latest data from the NBS.
Any initial optimism that may have resulted from the successive decreases in Nigeria’s inflaton figures in recent months would have now dissipated with the latest data. And the surge in inflation may not be far removed from recent measures taken by the Nigerian government to shore up its border.
Towards the end of August, the Nigerian government partially closed its land borders with neighbouring countries to arrest smuggling and importation of contraband, and to encourage consumption of locally-sourced products.
And before that measure was taken, inflation was steadily declining. This is evident in the month-on-month inflation reduction recorded for most parts of this year.
Once the border measures kicked in early September, the prices of various commodities (especially food) had shot up. Traders are blaming the price hike on a scarcity of the very goods which the government claims are aplenty locally and will no longer be imported as freely as before.
Just yesterday, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) boss announced a complete ban on imports/exports via Nigeria’s land borders until further notice. It’s a sign that the Nigerian government is not going back on its border measures and, if anything, is doubling down.
With inflation hitting a three-month high one month after things were tightened up at the border, it’s hard not to see the situation worsening in the next few months. Especially with the complete ban on imports/exports via Nigeria’s land borders.