The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has examined the inflation rate for the month of February 2023 and suggested why the prices of food are on the rise. According to the chamber, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as at end of February 2023 was 21.91% against 21.82%, in January with reference to the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), saying inflation had inched upwards by 0.09 percentage points in the period.
With a 21.67% rise, food prices led the contributors to this unwholesome position, while meat (4.78%) contributed the least. The rise in food prices was largely attributable to increases in the prices of yams, potatoes, other tubers, fish, cereals, bread, meat, vegetables, fat, and oil while core inflation dropped to 18.84% (YoY) in February from 19.16% recorded in January. The Director-General of LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona stated that the sustained upward trend in the general price level in recent times had brought about significant, but bothersome impacts on the household and business sectors.
Apart from eroding purchasing power, it had led to inventory stockpiles and that if left unchecked, the high inflation may further constrain production, lead to a steeper rise in poverty figures, frustrate economic growth, and lead to higher unemployment and non-competitive exports, especially in the sub-region. “These are not statistics that should be staring at the country in the near term. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned about the excessive focus on exchange and interest rates management. Unfortunately, this is at the expense of inflation. There is an urgent need for monetary and fiscal authorities to find an effective mix of measures and policies to thwart the worrisome trend in inflation, especially staple food prices”, the DG added.