The inflationary pressure which has refused to abate despite border reopening and reduction in levy on imported cars, has, again, hit 16.47 per cent in January, 2021 as against the December 2020 record of 15.75 per cent.
This, an economy expert and capital market professor, Uche Uwaleke, attributed to the lingering effects of increases in Value Added Tax (VAT), pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs as well as insecurity and transport bottlenecks. But in a statement, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) explained that the increase is 0.71 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in December 2020 (15.75 per cent).
“Increases were recorded in all Classifications of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.
The percentage change in the average composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12 months period ending January 2021 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 13.62 per cent, representing a 0.37 percentage point increase over 13.25 per cent recorded in December 2020. “On month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.49 per cent in January 2021. This is 0.12 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in December 2020 (1.61 per cent).
On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.52 per cent in January 2021, down by 0.13 percentage points when compared to the rate recorded in December 2020, while the rural index also rose by 1.46 per cent in January 2021, down by 0.12 compared to the rate that was recorded in December 2020 (1.58 per cent).
“The urban inflation rate increased by 17.03 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2021 from 16.33 per cent recorded in December 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 15.92 per cent in January 2021 from 15.20 per cent in December 2020.
“The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 14.23 per cent in January 2021. This is higher than the 13.86 per cent reported in December 2020, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in January 2021 was 13.04 per cent compared to 12.67 per cent recorded in December 2020”, a statement obtained from NBS website, said.
Concerning the increases in food price, NBS said that they were caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other
tubers; meat, fruits, vegetable, fish and oils and fats.
“On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.83 per cent in January 2021, down by 0.22 per cent points from 2.05 per cent recorded in December 2020.
The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending January 2021 over the previous 12-month average was 16.66 per cent, 0.49 per cent points higher than the average annual rate of change recorded in December 2020 (16.17 per cent).
The composite food index rose by 20.57 per cent in January 2021 compared to 19.56 per cent in December 2020” the bureau, said.
Again, the university don advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government to scale up interventions in agriculture and increase foreign exchange supply.
“I think the government and the CBN should scale up interventions in agriculture.
The CBN should equally consider increasing forex supply to bring down exchange rate especially now that crude oil prices are relatively high.
“The new service chiefs should roll up their sleeves and confront the seemingly intractable insecurity challenge in the country” he submitted. ENDS