Nigeria Inflation Soars to 18.60% in June 

Nigeria Inflation Soars to 18.60% in June 

By Bashir Olanrewaju

Nigeria’s annual inflation rose sharply in June to 18.60 percent as the Ukraine war contagion spread, finally erasing all the gains made since the price gauge touched a high of 18.17 percent in March 2021, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. 

“This is 0.84 percent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2021, which is 17.75 percent,” the agency said in a statement posted on its website on Friday. There was an upward surge in prices in all the the item baskets used to measure the consumer price index, resulting in a month-on-month jump of 1.82 percent in June compared with 1.78 percent in May, the statistics bureau said.

Africa’s biggest economy has experienced prolonged fuel shortages as higher prices crude oil prices engendered by the Ukraine war has stretched government finances for fuel imports at a time of falling export revenue. Unrest in the Niger Delta oil region and the consequent loss of output, have meant that the government can’t meet export revenue targets, the main source of government funding.

To curb the mounting inflationary pressures, 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 seven straight months. With spending expected to increase ahead of elections due early next year, the pressure on prices is unlikely to abate soon.