As President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration continues with its lethargic response to security and economic challenges, Nigeria’s inflation has worsened, hitting 18.17 per cent in March.
The country’s consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased by 18.17 per cent (year-on-year), 0.82 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2021 (17.33 per cent).
This is contained in the CPI report for March released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.56 per cent in March 2021. This is 0.02 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2021 (1.54 per cent).
The urban inflation rate increased by 18.76 per cent in March 2021 from 17.92 per cent recorded in February 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased by 17.60 per cent in March 2021 from 16.77 per cent in February 2021.
The food index indicated a rise of 22.95 per cent in March 2021 compared to 21.79 per cent in February. This rise in the food index is attributed to the price hike in bread and cereals, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, meat, vegetables, fish, oils, fats, and fruits.
Notably, the highest increases were recorded in prices of passenger transport by air, medical services, miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, passenger transport by road, hospital services, pharmaceutical products, paramedical services, vehicle spare parts, dental services, vehicles, maintenance, and repair of personal transport equipment, and hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 10.01 per cent for the 12 months ending March 2021, lower than the 10.77 per cent recorded in February 2021.
Under the state subdivision, Kogi recorded the highest, on all items, inflation in March with 24.51 per cent. Bauchi and Sokoto came second and third with 22.24 per cent and 20.70 per cent, respectively.
The states with the slowest rise in inflation were Imo, Kwara and Cross River with 16.08 per cent, 15.34 per cent and 14.45 per cent, respectively.
On month on month basis, however, March saw the highest inflation on all items inflation in Rivers with 2.62 per cent, Gombe following with 2.14 per cent and Niger with 2.12 per cent, while Zamfara, Yobe and Kebbi recorded the slowest rise in headline month on month with 0.60 per cent, 0.26 per cent and 0.45 per cent respectively.