Nigeria’s inflation rate has increased, for the fifth straight month, from 11.98% recorded in December 2019 to 12.13% in January 2020.
This is the highest rate recorded in the country since May 2018, which was 11.61%.
The National Bureau of Statistics report for month on month inflation shows that the inflation rose by 12.13% in January, higher than the rate (11.98%) recorded in December 2019 and 11.85% in November 2019.
The food inflation accelerated from 14.67% reported in December 2019 to 14.85% in January 2020, highest since March 2018.
The continued surge in food prices may not be unrelated to the shut down of the country’s land borders in August to curb smuggling of goods, especially rice, into Nigeria, and illegal export of petroleum products out of the country.
Nigeria also ban supply of petrol to filling stations within 20 kilometre radius of its borders to stifle smuggling.
Although, central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said in November that the impact of the border closures on inflation is temporary.
But the increase in the value-added tax rate and upcoming increase in electricity tariffs will likely keep inflation above the 9% upper end of the central bank’s target band this year, economists say.