Food Prices Continue To Soar Pushing Inflation To A 17 Month High
Higher food prices pushed up annual inflation in Nigeria last month after borders with neighbouring countries were closed in a crackdown on smuggling.
As we know Nigeria closed parts of its borders in August to fight the smuggling of rice and other goods.
Annual inflation was 11.61% in October, up from 11.24% in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday — the highest rate since May 2018.
Consumer inflation had dropped to it lowest in almost four years in August.
A separate food price index showed inflation at 14.09% in October, compared with 13.51% a month earlier.
“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of meat, oils and fats, bread and cereals, potatoes, ham and other tubers, fish and vegetables,” the statistics office said in its report.
“The rise in food inflation does suggest that border closures may have played a part in temporarily pressuring prices higher,” said Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered.
Shoppers at a market in the capital, Abuja, told Reuters the price of many food items, particularly rice, had risen in the last few weeks.
“Food items are very expensive in the market. When you go to a store they will tell you that is because the border is closed,” said housewife Naomi Nguher, who said she was given this reason for high rice prices at four different shops.
Sherifat Ajala, a rice wholesaler in the commercial capital Lagos, said Nigeria’s bad roads were delaying the transportation of the grain, further preventing the supply from meeting high demand.
“Trucks will spend almost two or three weeks on the road before they bring the rice,” he said.
Last week the West African country, along with neighbouring Benin and Niger, agreed to set up a joint border patrol force to tackle smuggling between the nations after a meeting between their foreign ministers.