Nigeria is facing its worst cost of living crisis in about two decades following the surge of inflation to 27.33 per cent in October.
This is as recorded inflation in Kogi (34.20 per cent), Rivers (31.44 per cent), Lagos (31.23 per cent), Oyo (31.21 per cent), and Akwa Ibom (30.74 per cent) outpaced the national average by a distance.
October inflation is the highest rate recorded in the country since August 2005 when it was 28.2 per cent.
It is also the 10th consecutive month that the price of goods and services has risen in the country in 2023.
Despite the persistent rise in the inflation rate, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN on Wednesday, expressed optimism that the low rate of increase in the average price level in October compared to September 2023, was a pointer to the fact that its monetary policy stance to tighten rates and its money market reforms were yielding the desired effect.
While month-on-month headline inflation in October was 1.73 per cent, which was 0.37 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in September 2023, it was still a 0.61 percentage point increase from the 26.72 per cent (year-on-year) that was recorded in September.
In its Consumer Price Index (October 2023) that was released on Wednesday, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS said, “In October 2023, the headline inflation rate increased to 27.33 per cent relative to the September 2023 headline inflation rate which was 26.72 per cent.
Cost of living is worse in cities where urban inflation has risen to 29.29 per cent and a bit milder in rural areas where rural inflation rate in was 25.58 per cent, below the national average.
Food inflation rose to 31.52 per cent in the month, which was a 7.80 percentage points increase from the rate recorded in October 2022 (23.72 per cent).
This is 0.88 percentage points higher than the 30.64 per cent recorded in September.
The cost of food is higher in Kogi, Kwara, and Lagos.
The continued rise in inflation has been attributed to the removal of petrol subsidies and the devaluation of the official exchange rate.