With the purchasing power of Nigerians falling as a result of the high inflation rate, with the Federal Government, owing N41.60 trillion in the First Quarter (Q1) of 2022, and now borrowing to pay its staff, the future is bleaker than thought.
The poor man’s prayer remains God dey (There is God), but for many others, the social media remain the ventilator for frustrations and anger. On a daily basis, rural and urban dwellers, are lamenting.
Take Prof. Joy N. Ezeilo (OON) @NgoziEzeilo. On Twitter she asked very obvious questions nagging Nigerians after an experience purchasing fuel.
“Which way is Nigeria headed? I bought 50 litres of diesel for my car at the cost of N40, 000 in Enugu. I’m wondering how we will all survive this hardship. As a Law Professor that has reached the last step and stage in promotion at a Federal University, I’m paid about 400k per
month after taxes so if I spend forty thousand conservatively for fuelling my car on a weekly basis that’s if I remain within my city times that by at least 200 litres per Month it means 40 percent of my salary in fuelling. What about other utilities, electricity, water, rent, food, children’s school fees, medical, phone and internet etc.
“Cooking gas is up by over 200 percent? Do we resort to firewood? World Bank’s prediction that millions of Nigerians would be driven to the poverty level is real. We’re in troubled waters with crippling inflation!”
Responses to Prof. Ezeilo were predictable as the lamentations continued. One person thought she was rich to take home N400,000 per month. Another asked her for money to feed his family.
However, yet another from the United States lamented the global phenomenon, saying he fills his fuel tank, twice a week, for over $103 at each fill.
Sundry reports say that in the month under review, the highest increases were recorded in prices of Gas, Liquid fuel, Garment, Solid fuel, Cleaning, Repair and Hire of clothing and Passenger transport by road.
In terms of all-items inflation, Bauchi State recorded the highest at 20.62% in the month of May 2022, closely followed by Akwa Ibom and Rivers with 20.34% and 19.95% respectively, while Kwara (15.45%), Kaduna (15.69%) and Jigawa (16.15%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation
Considering the food index, Kogi state recorded the highest food inflation in May 2022 with 22.79%, followed by Akwa Ibom at 22.47% and Kwara State with 22.21%. On the flip side, Kaduna (16.46%), Anambra (16.54%) and Jigawa (16.91%) recorded the slowest rise in year-on-year food inflation.
Nigeria is believed to have one of the highest inflation rates in Africa and the world at large.
Said the World Bank concerning Nigeria: “Inflation in Nigeria, already one of the highest in the world before the war in Ukraine, is likely to increase further as a result of the rise in global fuel and food prices caused by the war. And that, the World Bank estimates, is likely to push an additional one million Nigerians into poverty by the end of 2022, on top of the 6 million Nigerians that were already predicted to fall into poverty this year because of the rise in prices, particularly food prices.”
Few days ago, the Acting Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Chukwuyere Anamekwe, lamented that government is borrowing money to pay salaries.
At the opening of the fourth retreat for members of the technical sub-committee on cash management in Nasarawa State, Amamekwe said the country’s expenditures are higher than its revenue, which shouldn’t be so.
According to him, “Due to dwindling revenues, the treasury had to resort to other sources in order to augment for the payment of federal government public servants. It is absurd. Ordinarily we shouldn’t borrow to pay salaries.”
He said there is an increase in government expenditure due to rising security challenges and social needs of the citizenry.
“These issues call for an articulated deployment of fiscal discipline and strategies that will help mitigate these challenges.”
Recall that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 17.71 per cent on a year-on-year basis in May.
According to its Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living, NBS says the inflation figure ” is 0.22 per cent points lower, compared to the rate recorded in May 2021, which is 17.93 per cent”.
“This means that the headline inflation rate slowed down in May 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year.
“Increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index.”
The report said on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate increased to 1.78 per cent in May 2022, this is also 0.02 per cent higher than the rate recorded in April 2022 at 1.76 per cent.
“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending May 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period is 16.45 per cent.”
“This shows a 0.95 per cent increase compared to the 15.50 per cent recorded in May 2021.
The report revealed that the urban inflation rate increased to 18.24 per cent on a year-on-year basis in May 2022.
According to the report, this is a 0.27 per cent decline, compared to 18.51 per cent recorded in May 2021.
It said on a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate rose to 1.81 per cent in May 2022, representing a 0.03 per cent increase compared to April 2022 at 1.78 per cent.
The report said the corresponding 12-month average percentage change for the urban index is 17.00 per cent in May 2022.
“This is 0.91 per cent higher, compared to 16.09 per cent reported in May 2021. ”
The report showed that the rural inflation rate increased to 17.21 per cent in May 2022 on a year-on-year basis.
According to the report, this is a 0.15 per cent decline, compared to 17.36 per cent recorded in May 2021.
The report said on a month-on-month basis, the rural index rose to 1.76 per cent in May 2022, up by 0.02 per cent from the rate recorded in April 2022 at 1.74 per cent.
“The corresponding 12-month average percentage change for the rural inflation rate in May 2022 is 15.91 per cent.”
“This is 0.97 per cent higher, compared to 14.94 per cent recorded in May 2021.”