Stakeholders raise concern as Nigeria’s inflation rate rises to 31.70%


Nigeria’s inflation rate rises to 31.70%

By Kadiri Abdulrahman

The challenge of spiralling inflation and how to stem the tide has been central to stakeholders’ engagements in recent times.

According to analysts at CardinalStone Finance, an investment house, the rising inflation pressure indicates that Nigeria remains within the top 10 countries with the highest inflation reading in Africa.

The analysts said that a material jump in prices of foodstuff like rice, was a consequence of the increasing depletion of food reserves and incessant insecurity issues in food-producing parts of the country.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 31.70 per cent in February from 29.90 per cent in January.

This is according to recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NBS said that the February headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.80 per cent compared to the January headline inflation rate.

It said that on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 9.79 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2023, which was 21.91 per cent.

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

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also warned that 8.0 per cent of Nigerians are at a high risk of food insecurity if the current inflationary trajectory persists.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Yemi Cardoso, said that the leading factors driving inflationary pressure in Nigeria included the rising cost of energy.

Cardoso said that high fiscal deficits and lingering security challenges in major food-producing areas were also responsible for the high inflation rate.

He said that the apex bank had initiated a raft of inflation-targeting frameworks in its monetary policy measures.

He said that this informed the decision by the CBN to further raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 400 basis points to 22.75 per cent from 18.75 per cent.

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According to Cardoso, the move followed the success recorded in slowing down inflation in the past using the same mechanism.

Stakeholders, however, believe that the removal of the petrol subsidy, closely followed by the decision to float the Naira was largely responsible for the spiralling inflation.

According to Okechukwu Unegbu, a past president of the Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), President Bola Tinubu already made some sensitive policy decisions even before appointing the CBN governor and the finance minister.

A renowned economist, Prof. Ken Ife, said that the CBN adopted inflation targeting as a basis for further tightening monetary policy rates, an indication of how seriously the government took the country’s rising inflation.

Ife, however, said that the support from the fiscal authorities was crucial to achieving monetary policy results.

Dr Chijioke Ekechukwu, an economist, said that while many countries were having their inflation rate reduced month-on-month, Nigeria’s inflation rate continued to rise because of the volatile exchange rate regime.

Ekechukwu said that the standard of living had dropped to the lowest ebb while the country’s external reserve was being eroded by inflation.

“Cost of living has become increasingly unbearable, crime has taken over the entire country, and investors are afraid to venture into the country.

“Companies are shutting down and leaving the country and jobs are lost every day.

He advised the Federal Government to ensure that the country’s crude oil sales met the OPEC quota of 1.8 million barrels per day.

“The Federal Government should also ensure that revenue from crude oil sales came in on a daily basis through the CBN, ” he said.

He said that such a step would provide the country with enough liquidity to check inflation and other economic challenges.

(NAN) (

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