Border Closure: Nigeria suffers highest inflation rate since May 2018
The closure of some of the Nigerian borders has led to the increase in food prices and subsequently pushed up annual inflation in the country.
The National Bureau of Statistics monthly report released on Monday showed that annual inflation was 11.61% in October, up from 11.24% in September, indicating the highest rate since May 2018.
Consumer inflation also dropped to it lowest in almost four years in August.
A separate food price index showed inflation at 14.09% in October as against 13.51% in September.
“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of meat, oils and fats, bread and cereals, potatoes, ham and other tubers, fish and vegetables,” the statistics office said in its report.
“The rise in food inflation does suggest that border closures may have played a part in temporarily pressuring prices higher,” said Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered.
Nigeria closed its land borders to both Benin and Niger in a move the Nigerian government said was aimed curbing smuggling of goods, especially rice, into Nigeria, and illegal export of petroleum products out of the country.
Nigeria also ban supply of petrol to filling stations within 20 kilometre radius of its borders to stifle smuggling.
Nigeria and the affected countries, Niger and Benin, also agreed to establish a joint border police to check the influx of foreign goods into West Africa’s largest market.
The three countries said in a joint communique in Abuja on Thursday evening that the joint patrol team will comprise “the police, customs, immigration, navy and state security services of the three countries.”
The patrol is expected to hold its first meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, on November 25.
The border closure is hurting the economies of Nigeria’s neighbours, which serves as transit countries for some of the goods meant for the Nigerian market.
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