The cost of goods and services have continued to rise in Nigeria as the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 18.17% (year-on-year) in March 2021, higher than the 17.33% recorded in February 2021 according to the CPI report for March 2021 released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The 18.17% is the highest inflation rate recorded in Nigeria in over four years (since February 2017). Majority of Nigerians believe that the inflation rate in the country is higher than being reported.
According to NBS, increases were recorded in all the 12 Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index according to the report.
The urban inflation rate increased by 18.76 percent (year-on-year) in March 2021 from 17.92 percent recorded in February 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased by 17.60 percent in March 2021 from 16.77 percent in February 2021.
The composite food index rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021 compared to 21.79 percent in February 2021. According to the report, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.
The ”All items less farm produce” or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 12.67 percent in March 2021, up by 0.29 percent when compared with 12.38 percent recorded in February 2021.
According to the report, 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, Passenger transport by road, Pharmaceutical products, etc.
In March 2021, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Kogi (24.51%), Bauchi (22.24%) and Sokoto (20.70%), while Imo (16.08%), Kwara (15.34%) and Cross River (14.45%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation
In March 2021, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Kogi (29.71%), Sokoto (27.02%) and Ebonyi (26.59%), while Abuja (20.10%), Kebbi (19.98%) and Bauchi (18.61%) recorded the slowest rise .in year on year inflation.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.