Food prices drive up inflation in Nigeria in March 2023

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The price of food and other commodities continues to rise and drive inflation up in Nigeria as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) claimed in its latest report. The NBS said that its Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks change in prices of goods and commodities, rose to 22.04% in March 2023, compared to its 21.91% rise the previous month.

When compared to 2022, the inflation rate in March of this year was higher by about 6.13%. The numbers represent the hardship that a lot of people living in the country are feeling. A closer look at the details show that the spikes are in commodities that people cannot forgo.

For example, food and non-alcoholic beverages saw the highest rise in cost and account for 51.80% of the inflation. Meanwhile, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel-related commodities contributed just over 16%.

These are things that many Nigerians have no alternative for and the increasing price of food is especially troubling. With over 70% of citizens engaged in one form of agriculture or the other, it is easy to assume that the cost of food would be the least of our problems, yet, it is the leading one. Here is how the commodities rose in the month of March 2023:

CommodityInflation percentage
food & non-alcoholic beverages11.42%
housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuel3.69%
clothing & footwear1.69%
furnishings, household equipment & maintenance1.11%
miscellaneous goods & services0.37%
restaurant & hotels0.27%
alcoholic beverage, tobacco & kola0.24%
recreation & culture0.15%

Inflation in food prices alone rose by 7.25% year-on-year as common products like oil, bread, cereals, potatoes, yam, fish, fruits, meat, vegetables, and others became more expensive. The NBS further added that the difference in average annual rate of food inflation for the 12 months ending in March 2023 over the previous twelve months’ average was 3.50% increase. 

Meanwhile, some states in Nigeria like Kwara, Ondo, and Lagos saw higher rises than others in the cost of food year-on-year. The inclusion of Lagos and Ondo are not surprising as they are not one of the major farming regions of the country but Kwara is one of the top 10. Agricultural powerhouses like Sokoto, Zamfara, and Plateau saw the lowest rise in food inflation over the past 12 months.

Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya is a tech reporter of over five years, fiction writer, SEO expert and an editor. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and was previously shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize 2018.


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