Food prices are on an upward climb, according to what the open markets are saying and what the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.
NBS says revealed that Consumer Price Index which measures inflation has increased by 16.47% in January 2021, but the lurking fear is what may happen to fuel prices in the next few days when imported old stocks are depleted and fresh imports arrive under the new crude price of $61 per barrel.
Projections are that, despite the flexing of muscles by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and admonition by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there is not going to be anything to stop the federal government from giving an approval.
Only the political game of Russian Roulette can hold back the finger of the government buffeted on all sides by insecurity and other festering scores.
Analysts project that the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) will rise to N172 and more. If that happens, food prices are sure to up the more, and Nigerians will have to brace up the more.
The inflation in food prices is the highest since April 2017.
The NBS report shows that food prices, food inflation also rose to 20.57 per cent in January while core inflation, which excludes the price of volatile agricultural produce stood at 11.85%.
The NBS said the highest increases were recorded in prices of passenger transport by air, medical services, hospital services, passenger transport by road, pharmaceutical products and paramedical services.
Others are: repair of furniture, vehicle spare parts, motor cars, miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said inflation rose to 16.47 per cent (year-on-year) in January, and that the increase was 0.71 per cent higher than 15.75 per cent recorded in December 2020.
It said this in the “Consumer Price Index (CPI), January 2021” report released on Tuesday in Abuja.
The NBS said increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index.
According to the report, on month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.49 per cent in January, which was 0.12 per cent lower than the 1.61 per cent recorded in December 2020.
“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending January over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 13.62 per cent.
“This represents a 0.37 per cent increase over 13.25 per cent recorded in December 2020.
“The urban inflation rate increased by 17.03 per cent (year-on-year) in January from 16.33 per cent recorded in December 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 15.92 per cent in January from 15.20 per cent in December,” the report noted.
The NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.52 per cent in January, down by 0.13 per cent when compared to the rate recorded in December.
It added that the rural index also rose by 1.46 per cent in January, down by 0.12 per cent compared to the rate that was recorded in December (1.58 per cent).
According to NBS, the corresponding 12 month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 4.23 per cent in January.
This, it said was higher than the 13.86 per cent reported in December, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in January was 13.04 per cent compared to 12.67 per cent recorded in December.
The report said the composite food index rose by 20.57 per cent in January compared to 19.56 per cent in December.
This rise was 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, down by 0.22 per cent from 2.05 per cent recorded in December.
“The ‘All items less farm produce’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 11.85 per cent in January, up by 0.48 per cent when compared with 11.37 per cent recorded in December.
“On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.26 per cent in January. This was up by 0.16 per cent when compared with 1.10 per cent recorded in December,” said the report.
For state profiles, the report said for the month under review, all items inflation on year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi at 21.38 per cent, Oyo 20.17 per cent and Bauchi 19.52 per cent.
Meanwhile Kwara at 13.96 per cent, Abuja 12.96 per cent and Cross River at 12.22 recorded the slowest rise in headline Year-on-Year inflation.
On month-on-month basis, however, January’s all items inflation was highest in Oyo at 4.28 per cent, Ebonyi 3.95 per cent and Lagos 3.33 per cent.
However, Abuja, Edo and Cross River recorded price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of food or a negative food inflation rate).
The report said food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi at 26.64 per cent, Oyo 23.69 per cent and Rivers 23.49 per cent, while Ondo at 17.2 per cent, Abuja 16.73 per cent and Bauchi 16.37 per cent recorded the slowest rise.
On month-on-month basis, however, January food inflation was highest in Oyo at 4.47 per cent, Lagos 3.86 per cent and Rivers 3.11 per cent.
Meanwhile Akwa Ibom, which stood at 0.25 per cent and Bayelsa at 0.13 per cent, recorded the slowest rise with Edo recording price deflation or negative inflation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.
▪︎ Additional reports by NAN