The Jollof Index returns with encouraging drop in cost of cooking Jollof Rice
It all comes at a cost, that savoury, delectable and palate-appealing staple Nigerians love and protect like cultural heritage, Jollof Rice. And the Jollof index, returning after an election-forced hiatus is all here to tell how much it costs in cities across Nigeria.
The SBM Jollof Rice index, which tracks the price of the main ingredients used to prepare a pot of one of Nigeria’s primary delicacies, returns bearing good news.
It costs less now to prepare a pot of Jollof Rice than it did in October 2018 when the last Jollof Index report was published.
“As inflation has slowed down over the last few months, hovering at 11.25% from highs of over 18% at the height of the recession, the national Jollof Index has followed a similar path. Not only has the price stabilized but it started to decline in the early months of 2019.”
Heartwarming news for Nigerians who spend about 56% – 60% on food on the average.
The drop in cost corresponds with the non-core inflation rate that has steadily dropped according to figures released by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The food year-on-year inflation rate has dropped from 16.08% in March 2018 to 13.45% in March 2019.
The average price of 1kg of rice(imported high quality sold loose), the main ingredient for Jollof Rice, has decreased year-on-year by -0.39% and decreased month-on-month by -0.68% to N361.90 in March 2019 from N364.38 in February 2019, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics on selected food prices across Nigeria.
The Jollof Index places Onitsha and Awka in Anambra State as the cities where the cheapest Jollof Rice can be made taking over from Lagos that has the most pocket-friendly city to cook the staple since 2015.
The Wuse market, the closest market to the Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power, in Abuja, remains the most expensive place to buy ingredients for Jollof Rice. Compared with Nyanya market, also in Abuja, it costs 25% more to make Jollof Rice when the ingredients are bought from the Wuse market.
The price hike in Wuse market is intentional as it caters to those who have a high cost of living.
In Kano, beef is the go-to protein for most shoppers as Turkey is prohibitively expensive (the most expensive across Nigeria). Kano has enjoyed a 5% drop in prices on the Jollof Index since October 2018.
In the South East, Jollof is both king and cheap, though the price has risen slightly over the months. With special market days and stalls flooded with produce from farms in the region, food is cheap.
After the sharp increase between April and June 2018, shoppers in the south-south have enjoyed a decline in price for the key ingredients in cooking a pot of Jollof. At the markets in Calabar, there has been a dip in the price of the rice itself as it is produced in the neighbouring town, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.