Nigeria’s annual inflation rate rose to 24.08 per cent in July 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed. In June, inflation was recorded at 22.79 per cent, but has now jumped by 1.29 percentage points. The NBS said, “In July 2023, the headline inflation rate rose to 24.08 per cent relative to June 2023 headline inflation rate, which was 22.79 per cent. “Looking at the movement, the July 2023 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.29 per cent points when compared to June 2023 headline inflation rate. On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 4.44 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in July 2022, which was 19.64 per cent. This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in July 2023 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (July 2022)”.
The food inflation rate in July 2023 was 24.61 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 6.24 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in July 2022 (18.37 per cent). The bureau said the rise in food inflation was caused by increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fruits, meat, vegetable, and spirits. It noted that the highest increases were recorded in gas prices, passenger transport by air, liquid fuel, vehicle spare parts, fuels, and lubricants for personal transport equipment, medical services and passenger transport by road, to mention a few. In the same vein, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has observed that Nigeria’s headline inflation rate accelerated for the seventh consecutive month to 24.08 per cent in July 2023 from 21.82 per cent in January, according to the latest inflation figures released by the NBS.
The chamber said the rate was the highest since September 2005, as it increased by 1.29 percentage points when compared to the previous month, 22.79, and on a year-on-year basis, it went up by 4.44 percentage points compared to 19.64 recorded in July 2022, saying the significant rise in inflation largely reflects fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate devaluation. Food inflation increased by 1.73 percentage points to 26.98 per cent from 25.25 per cent the previous month while core inflation also increased by 0.41 percentage points to 20.47 per cent when compared to 20.06 in the previous month and increased by 4.41 percentage points when compared to the corresponding month in 2022.
The group is concerned that there may be more inflationary pressures in the coming months due to the volatility of the Naira as well as the lagged effects of subsidy removal and its transmission to general prices. LCCI recommends that the government should step up efforts to tackle food costs, especially staple food items. “We commend the Federal Government’s declaration of a state of emergency on food security and urge them to prioritise farmers’ areas of assistance, fertilizers, and seeds to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal as well as strengthen strategic food reserves to be used as price stabilisation mechanisms. The chamber implores the government to hasten the provision of the anticipated palliatives to lessen the impact of the rising trend in prices on economic agents”, LCCI stated further.