Data from Nigerian based research firm SBM Intelligence reveals it now costs N7, 240 on average to make a pot of Jollof rice in Nigeria a 6% rise from the same period in April.
Jollof rice is a staple delicacy in Nigeria and eaten daily by most lower, middle class and upper-class families. It is also a popular delicacy in West Africa.
According to the report, “the average Jollof Index for the country as at June 2020 was N7,240. This represents a six percent increase from the Q1 2020 figure which obtained when the index was last released in April. Half of the market, mainly in the South East and the South-South (minus Port Harcourt which had the second highest nationally) were below the national average.”
- The data is sourced from markets in 13 cities within 9 states in Nigeria with Port Harcourt being the newest city.
- The report notes a remarkable disparity between the cities reporting Wuse II located in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory the highest city for cooking a pot of Jollof Index. It cost N9,300 or 59% more than the lowest, Calabar Municipal.
- The cost of rice, vegetable oil and turkey – three of the ingredients most impacted by the border closure policy – is the biggest driver of this disparity.
- The report cites the border closure as the main reason for the spike in the cost of making a pot of Jollof Rice.
- “A cursory look at the trendline of the Jollof Index will show that by late 2018, it started to decline and maintained this decline into the first quarter of 2019. This changed as the border closure policy was enacted in August 2019 and has been on the rise similar to the recessionary period of 2016 since then. The oil price decline and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it further between March and May 2020 as prices rose due to the scarcity and increased demand during the lockdown.”
Nigeria has seen a spike in inflation rate in recent months following the government’s policies of border closure and denying forex for most importers. This is part of its program to reduce reliance on imported items particularly food items. A recent bi-weekly research conducted by Nairametrics also reveals significant spike in food prices across markets in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
In the Nairametrics report, prices of major household items such as vegetable oil, tomatoes, pepper, rice and several others have once again spiked across major markets. These are all ingredients in making a pot of Jollof rice. The price of a bag of 50kg Mama Gold rice increased marginally by 1.17% to sell for an average of N21,375. Mama’s Pride rice (50kg) also increased marginally by 0.59% to sell for an average of N21,125. A 50kg bag of Foreign rice now sells for an average of N28,500 compared to an initial average of N27,500 indicating a 3.51% increase in price.
The SBM Intelligence report also reveals rice was the most expensive ingredient in the delicacy. Others were groundnut oil, fish and tomatoes.
- From an SBM perspective, fish is not a part of the units used for measuring the Jollof Index, but given that the Calabar area is rich in seafood, fish is the preferred protein additive.
- This increase in the cost of making Jollof rice has made his family reduce the number of times they eat the delicacy. They now substitute with beans, plantain, and garri with soup.
Abuja costliest to cook Jollof Rice
The report indicates Wuse II a major city in the FCT was the most expensive place to cook a pot of Jollof rice. Wuse II is home to most middle class Nigerians living in the capital city Abuja and fast becoming one of the busiest commercial cities in the country.
- According to the report “A respondent based in Abuja said that during the period of the pandemic, the cost of cooking Jollof rice has doubled. She added that she now uses fish in place of chicken or beef as these protein sources are now out of reach for her.
- This has reduced the number of times her family eats Jollof rice, and she substitutes spaghetti or beans.
Jollof is cheaper in the South East
The report also indicates it is cheaper to make a pot of Jollof rice in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. Prices in the South-South and South-East were below the national average.
- “In the South-East, a respondent said that over the course of the pandemic, the cost of jollof rice for her family of three has gone up from N1,000 to N2,500. She now substitutes her meal with a local vegetable salad known as abacha.
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