The latest Consumer Price Index from the National Bureau of Statistics shows Nigeria’s inflation rate rose by 11.61% for the month of October 2019 the fastest rise in about 17 months. The data also reveals states in the Western parts of Nigeria have been hit hardest by the border closure recording the highest rise in food inflation for the month.
According to the NBS report, inflation rose by 0.37% points, higher than the 11.24% recorded in September and 11.02% for August 2019. Similarly, food inflation rose to 14.09% compared to 13.51% in the previous month.
How the states fared with inflation: The data reveals Oyo, Osun, Lagos State, and Ogun States were worst hit recording the highest spikes in inflation rates.
These states are understandable closest to the border towns so they are feeling the full weight of the negative effect of the border closures. Some analysts opine this is a major food security threat for the region and could exacerbate if the local production does not meet up with demand.
The Federal Government in August initially and partially shut its borders after some truckloads of prohibited tramadol and codeine were intercepted in Lagos on August 16. The exercise code-named operation “Swift Response” had resulted in joint border operations by a combined team of security agencies.
“Now that our people in the rural areas are going back to their farms, and the country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves, we cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue.” Buhari
Initially, the Presidency announced a partial border closure, before placing a total ban on imports and exports of goods through the land borders. The Federal Government ordered the complete closure of the border, placing a ban on both legitimate and illegitimate movement of goods in and out of the country. The President also extended the ban till end of January 2010.
Effect of Border Closure: Nigerians have experienced a spike in the prices of goods and services, particularly food items since the border closure commenced.
- In our latest Household Food Price survey report for September and October shows that while prices of food items continue to rise, traders of locally made items are exploiting the border closure to raise food prices.
- Various media reports also show traders bagging locally made rice in foreign bags as they exploit appetite for foreign-made goods over locally produced ones.
- The price of petroleum products also spiked in neighborhoods around the borders following the government’s decision to stop the sale of fuel to filling stations at border areas.
- We have also seen several reports from local manufacturers unable to export their goods to neighboring West African countries ripping up contracts that were long signed before the border closure.
- Also, Nigerian companies with factories abroad have been unable to import products into the country due to the border closure.
- Some social media accounts also suggest some fast food restaurants are not getting affected by border closure as they struggle to source food items such as chicken, rice, etc.