By Babajide Okeowo
The Composite Food Index, CPI rose to 18.30% percent in October 2020 compared to 17.38% per cent in September 2020 pushing the West Africa’s country inflation rate at 14.89% to an almost three-year high in November.
This is contained in the report of the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday published on its website.
Consumer prices rose 14.9% from a year earlier, compared with 14.2% in October. Costs increased by 1.6% in the month.
The food index, which accounts for more than half the inflation basket, rose 18.3%, compared with 17.4% in October. That is the highest rate since January 2018. Costs increased by 2% in the month.
That’s adding to the challenges of an economy in a recession that could push an extra 6.6 million Nigerians into poverty, according to World Bank estimates.
Annual inflation has been above the 9% top of the central bank’s target range since 2015. The rate could remain in double-digits unless authorities reform monetary policy to focus on price stability, the International Monetary Fund said last week. Extra interest-rate cuts after 200 basis points of easing this year are unlikely to give an additional boost to the economy, the lender said.
Recall that The Matrix in a recent analysis delved into how insecurity in farming areas and supply bottlenecks stoked food prices which in turn has driven Inflation through the roof.
There is however hope on the horizon if the recent statement credited to Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed is anything to go by.
She hinted last that Nigerian borders might be reopened soon raising hopes that the lifting of the blockades that have been in place for more than a year that has added to supply constraints, will be a welcomed development.
The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee also held recently that the impending harvest period will also ease food inflation.