Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians made higher energy purchases in December 2022.
In its Consumer Price Index and Inflation report for December 2022, the NBS stated that core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 18.49% in December 2022.
This is 24.8 basis points higher when compared to the 18.24% recorded in November 2022. The rate is also up by 4.62% when compared to the 13.87% recorded in December 2021.
However, on a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 1.33% in December 2022 which is a 0.34% decline from the 1.67% recorded in November 2022, down by 0.34%.
According to the NBS, the highest increases were recorded in the prices of gas, liquid fuels, passenger transport by air, vehicle spare parts, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, and solid fuels.
Transportation costs during the yuletide: In December 2022, Nairametrics reported that due to increased demand for the holiday period, Nigerians paid up to N27,000 for a single person per road trip from the Southwest to the South-south region.
Also, some people paid up to N26,000 for a single passenger per road trip from the Southwest to the southeast region. Nairametrics also reported that as of December 17, a one-way ticket for a single passenger to fly Air Peace from Abuja to Anambra cost N100,000.
Meanwhile, a return ticket for the same route between December and early January 2023, cost an average of N175,000 for a single adult.
Fuel scarcity factor: In the period under review, Nigerians especially those in the southeast and south-south regions underwent a fuel scarcity crisis, which affected transportation costs for those who were travelling interstate. Although the scarcity abated at some point for some states like Enugu, Abia, and Imo, there were varying fuel prices at filling stations. While some stations were locked up, others sold fuel for as high as N400 per litre.
Increased road travel factor: Many families went on road trips during the yuletide and this led to an increase in the demand for vehicle spare parts.
According to Chike Nwaobia a spare parts trader in Zuba, Abuja, there was an increased number of customers in December who wanted to use their cars for interstate travel for the holidays. Nwaobia told Nairametrics that from December 7 to December 31, car parts prices were on the increase due to market forces, as more purchases are made during that time.
For the record: The NBS report states that the likely factors responsible for the increase in the inflation rate month-on-month can be attributed to the increase in energy costs and transportation costs. This is a result of the sharp increase in demand usually experienced during the festive season.
According to the NBS, Nigeria’s inflation rate eased to 21.34% in December 2022 despite the Christmas and New year festivities, dropping from 21.47% recorded in November 2022.