Nigeria’s Inflation Driven by Food Costs, Naira Weakness

Monday, August 17, 2020

Nigeria’s inflation maintained its upward trend in July, rising to 12.8 percent as food costs and exchange-rate pressures weighed on prices.

It was the 11th consecutive month of price increases in Africa’s biggest economy and compares with 12.56 percent recorded in June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. 

The food index, which accounts for half of Nigeria’s inflation basket, was the main driver of price increases, rising to 15.5 percent from 15.2 percent in June, the biggest jump in more than two years. Prices also got a lift from the erosion of the value of the naira in the foreign-currency market where two official devaluations were effected this year by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A low-intensity conflict, characterized by fighting over grazing land by herders and farmers, organized banditry and Islamist insurgency, has spread through central and northern Nigeria’s key food producing regions, hurting food production and distribution.

With the country reliant on crude oil receipts for much of government revenue and almost all of its foreign income, dollar shortages ensued as soon as the coronavirus pandemic gutted global demand.