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Inflation eases amid rising food price pressure

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday disclosed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, rose by 15.98 per cent (year-on-year) in September 2017. But food price pressure continued into the month under review as all major food sub-indexes increased.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the NBS said the existing CPI rate was 0.03 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in August (16.01), making it the eighth consecutive decline in the rate of headline year-on-year inflation since January 2017. On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.78 per cent in September 2017, 0.19 per cent points lower from the rate of 0.97 per cent recorded in August.

The food index increased by 20.32 per cent (year-on-year) in September, up marginally by 0.07 per cent points from the rate recorded in August (20.25 per cent). The rise in the index was caused by increases in prices of potatoes, yams and other tubers, milk cheese and eggs, bread and cereals, coffee tea and cocoa, soft drinks, fish, meat and oil and fats.

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.87 per cent in September, down from 1.14 per cent recorded in August. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending in September 2017 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 17.17 per cent, showing 0.16 per cent point lower from 17.33 per cent recorded in August 2017.

The urban index rose by 16.18 per cent (year-on-year) in September 2017, up by 0.05 per cent point from 16.13 per cent recorded in August and the rural index increased by 15.81 per cent in September down from 15.91 per cent in August.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.84 per cent in September 2017, down from 0.99 per cent recorded in August, while the rural index rose by 0.74 per cent in September 2017, down from 0.95 per cent in the previous month.

The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index decreased from 18.15 per cent in August to 17.87 per cent in September, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in September was 16.52 per cent compared to 16.58 per cent recorded in August 2017. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending in September 2017 over the previous 12-month average was 18.88 per cent, 0.31 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in August (18.57 percent.)

The ‘’All Items less Farm Produce’’ or core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce eased further in September to 12.10 per cent points from 12.30 per cent recorded in August as all key divisions which contribute to the index increased.

On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.80 per cent in September, lower from 0.93 per cent recorded in August. The highest increases were recorded in clothing materials and articles of clothing, solid fuels, garments, passenger transport by air, motorcycles, shoes and other footwear, furniture and furnishing and non-durable household goods.

The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 14.90 per cent for the 12-month period ending in September 2017, this is 0.47 per cent points lower than 15.37 per cent recorded in August.The bureau disclosed that the prices paid by consumers for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and automotive gas oil (diesel) decreased. NBS noted that the average price paid by consumers for petrol decreased by 1.2 per cent year-on-year and increased by 0.1 per cent month-on-month to N144.5 in September 2017 from N144.4 in August 2017.

The average price paid by consumers for diesel decreased by 5.83 per cent month-on-month and 4.10 per cent year-on-year to N184.80 in September 2017 from N196.23 in August 2017. The statement further disclosed that states with the highest average price of diesel were Gombe N202.50; Taraba N198; and Zamfara N197.91 adding that states with the lowest average price of diesel were Plateau N176.67, Adamawa and Kogi N175 and Kwara N170.

According to the agency, states with the highest average price of PMS were Yobe N149.7, Bayelsa N147.1 and Taraba N146.1 while states with the lowest average price of PMS were Abuja N142, Osun N142.8 and Ondo N142.9. Meanwhile, the Senate has expressed worry as government declared that about 112million Nigerians are operating on survival lines across the country.

This high poverty figure was said to be growing and represents 67.1 per cent of the country’s estimated population as reported by the NBS.The upper chamber urged the Federal Government to pursue social investment programmes and other poverty alleviation and eradication policies, and to implement the necessary sustainable development goals to eliminate poverty in the land.

This issue yesterday occupied the front burner of the Senate legislative deliberations through an adopted motion sponsored by Malam Ali Wakili to commemorate the United Nations International Day (October 17) for the eradication of poverty worldwide.Leading the debate, Wakili whose motion was co-sponsored by 11 other senators, said the eradication of poverty would evolve a healthy society and drastically reduce crimes and other forms of security challenges.

Wakili who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation noted that the day was intended to promote dialogue and understanding between people living in poverty and their communities and society.

The lawmaker said the achievement of a world free from poverty provided a path towards achieving peaceful and inclusive societies as envisioned in goal 16 of the SDGs. Shehu Sani described poverty as a threat to peace and national security. He expressed regret that there had been unsuccessful attempts by governments to reduce poverty in the land, but advised that it could only be addressed through a sound and empirical economic system.


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