Nigeria Inflation Jumps to 17.71% in May on Food, Fuel Costs

Nigeria Inflation Jumps to 17.71% in May on Food, Fuel Costs

By Bashir Olanrewaju

Nigeria’s annual inflation jumped to 17.71 percent in May from 16.82 percent in the previous month amid higher fuel and food costs worsened by the war in Ukraine, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

“The composite food index rose to 19.50 percent in May 2022 on a year-on-year basis,” the agency said, due to increases in the price of bread, cereals and most food products. Nigeria has also experienced higher prices, particularly for unsubsidized diesel, which powers most businesses in the country due to the perennial failures of power utilities.

To stem the inflationary spiral, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee at its last meeting in May raised its benchmark interest rate, for the first time in six years, to 13 percent, citing a global inflationary trend on the back of the Ukraine war.

After falling consistently for eight months from a peak of 18.17 percent reached in March last year, the annual inflation rate has  now quickened for six straight months. With spending expected to increase ahead of elections due early next year, the pressure on prices is unlikely to abate soon.