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Expert attributes inflation rise to border closure, election - THE GUARDIAN

NOVEMBER 19, 2019

By Anthony Otaru, Abuja


Economic expert has attributed the rise in headline inflation in the month of October, to Nigeria’s recent border closure and post-election fall-outs.

Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyenkwere, told The Guardian that “We are all aware of the border closure imposed on the economy by the Federal Government; this has led to the ban on importation of rice and other consumables to Nigeria. Unfortunately, the country is yet to produce to meet local demand for these commodities.”

He also cited the effects of post-elections; an exercise he noted gulped several billions of Naira, adding, “As we speak, the same government is just releasing the 2019 capital budgets into the economy.”

Onyenkwere’s comment comes against the release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that measures inflation by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which rose to 11.61 per cent in October or 0.36 percentage points above the 11.24 per cent recorded in September.

In the inflation report released yesterday, the highest in the last 17 months, similar to same level in May 2018.

The month-on-month index also increased by 1.07 per cent in October, or 0.03 percentage points higher than the 1.04 per cent recorded in September.

The report reads in part, “The consumer price index, which measures inflation, rose by 11.61 per cent year-on-year in October 2019. 

“This is 0.36 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in September 2019 (11.24 per cent).”

The NBS report put urban inflation at 12.20 per cent year-on-year in October from 11.78 per cent recorded a month earlier, while rural inflation rose to 11.07 per cent from 10.77 per cent between September and October.

Broken further, the report recoded the inflation rate was highest in Kebbi state (15.20 per cent), followed by Bauchi (13.97 per cent), and Ondo (13.74 per cent).

On the other hand, Kwara (9.69 per cent), Katsina (9.29 per cent), and Bayelsa (9.07 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in the year-on-year inflation rate.

On a month-on-month basis, however, NBS said the inflation rate was highest in Benue (2.20 per cent), Bauchi (1.87 per cent), and Cross River (1.80 per cent).  

Ebonyi, Anambra, and Bayelsa recorded the slowest rise at 0.13 per cent, 0.28 per cent, and 0.35 per cent, respectively.

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