Food, Energy Prices Push Inflation Further to 17.9%


Tobi Soniyi and James Emejo

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, maintained its upward streak at the weekend as it increased to 17.9 per cent in September from 17.6 per cent it stood in the previous month.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which released the CPI figures yesterday, noted that the 0.24 per cent rise in headline index was attributed mainly to increases in the sub food index as well as energy prices.
According to NBS, for the September CPI, increases were recorded in all the divisions which contribute to inflation.

However, communication and restaurants and Hotels were reported to have recorded the lowest rates of increase of the 12 divisions, growing by 5.6 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively.
The food sub index increased by 16.6 per cent (year-on-year) in September, up by 0.19 per cent points from rate recorded in August (16.4 per cent), the NBS noted.

Urban inflation rose by 19.5 per cent (year-on-year) in September from 19.3 per cent recorded in August while the rural index increased by 16.4 per cent in September from 16.1 per cent in August. On a month on month basis, both the urban and rural index eased, increasing by 0.8 per cent a piece.

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce increased by 17.7 per cent during the month, 0.5 per cent from 17.2 per cent in August as all key divisions, which contributes to the index increased.

According to the statistical agency,”The Food Sub Index increased by 16.6 per cent (year-on-year) in September, up by 0.19 per cent points from rate recorded in August (16.4 per cent). A number of groups within the food index recorded falls in the rate of price increases, including Fish, which had previously been a key driver, as well as Oils and Fats, and Fruits.

“Price movements recorded by the All Items less farm produce or Core sub-index increased by 17.7 per cent (year-on-year) in September, up by 0.5 per cent points from rates recorded in August (17.2 per cent). During the month, the highest increases were seen in clothing materials, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, garments, shoes and other footwear, Books and stationeries, jewellery, clocks and watches, and Motorcycles.”

According to the bureau, “Energy and energy related prices continue to be the largest increases reflected in the core sub-index. In September, the core sub-index increased by 17.7 per cent during the month, up by 0.5 per cent points from rates recorded in August (17.2 per cent). During the month, the highest increases were seen in the electricity, liquid Fuel (kerosene), solid fuels, and fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment groups.”

In another development, Germany has earmarked €18 billion to prevent Lake Chad from extinction.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who announced this in Berlin, Germany during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari, said her country set aside the €18 billion for re-charging the Lake Chad through the diversion of rivers in the Congo Basin to empty their waters into the lake.

This disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu. According to the statement, Merkel made this announcement at a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari following bilateral talks on Friday in Berlin
Shehu said both the German leader and Buhari said they had marked this project as one their priorities.

He said Buhari, who made a strong pitch for the recharging of the Lake in bilateral talks with the German leader in, said that the drying up of the lake has put the 30 million people in the Lake Chad basin area in danger of being forced to leave.

Buhari linked the emergence and spread of the Boko Haram terrorism as well as the increasing number of illegal migrations to Europe from Africa to joblessness, starvation and poverty party arising from climate change as manifested by the drying up of the lake.

Speaking at the press cconference, the German leader said that “The Lake Chad region is a great priority to us, Nigeria is part and parcel of that. In terms of cooperation we said we will earmark 18 billion euros for Lake Chad region area and 50 billion euros for the overall areas.”
Buhari welcomed the German offer of skills and vocational training of Nigeria’s teeming unemployed and provision of equipment and intelligence to combat criminality and terrorism in the North-east, vandalisation of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta region and frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

The president , also acknowledged the more than the 100 German firms in the Nigerian economy and thanked Chancellor Merkel for her encouragement of more of such firms to invest in Nigeria.
The German leader commended the progress Nigeria had made in fighting crime, terrorism and corruption and promised continued consultation and closer bilateral cooperation.

Merkel expressed concern that the annual illegal migration of 20,000 Nigerians to Germany had become a major issue that needed to be addressed, especially given the fact the emigrants were mostly unqualified for asylum under their own laws.

“We also talked about the migration partnership with the European Union, the EU want to negotiate migration with Nigeria, my point in this is that we need to see to it that human traffickers are out or business, we have to strengthen legal migration to also create jobs in Nigeria, jobs possibilities for vocational training, possibilities in education,” the Chancellor said.