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  • The Guardian

Nigerians pay six times more for food since 2009




Food inflation is a major concern in the country’s inflation mix, pushing up the general price level to a disturbing height. Food retains 507 points or 51 per cent of the CPI weighted average, a telling reflection of the impact of food on aggregate consumption.


In the past three years, the food crisis redefined its position as the major driver of the country’s headline inflation. The impact of volatile food prices is expressed in the gapping differential between the segment and core inflation (other items less farm produce). In July, the differential was 5.8 per cent while it was 4.9 per cent in the preceding month.


In the past decade preceding July 2022, food items have increased by an average of 300 per cent. Within the period, the index rose 135 points to its current 545.6 points. All-item index has, on the other hand, expanded by 240 per cent, rising from 90.2 points to 135.7 points.


Urban food index has also seen faster growth in recent years, rising by 527 per cent since January 2009. In the same era, the rural food index added 490 per cent. Experts have drawn attention to the role poor logistics and unsafe roads play in the widening gap between the prices of food in rural areas and urban centres.


The July Transport Fare Watch released by the NBS last week is revealing the negative impact of transportation on price stability. The report said the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city per drop, increased by 3.46 per cent on a month-on-month from N582.61 in June 2022 to N602.77 in July 2022.


“In terms of year-on-year, however, the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city per drop rose by 44.76 per cent from N416.38 in July 2021 to N602.77 in July 2022.


“In another category, the average fare paid by commuters for bus journey intercity per drop rose to N3, 758.46 in July 2022 indicating an increase of 2.61 per cent on a month-on-month compared to the value of N3, 662.87 in June 2022. On a year-on-year basis, the fare prices rose by 47.85 per cent from N2, 542.02 in July 2021,” the report stated.


The figures dwarf the country’s CPI growth, which stopped at 19.64 per cent in July.

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