Nigerian households are expected to spend more of their December income on food items such as rice, bread, yam, vegetables, and tomatoes as food inflation hits 32.84%.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the inflation of food rose to 32.84% in November on a year-on-year basis, which was 8.72% points higher compared to the rate recorded in November 2022 (24.13%).
This implies that Nigerian households will pay more in prices for items such as rice, oil and fat, potatoes, tomatoes, and vegetables.
As of October, the average price of 1kg of Rice was sold locally at N819.42 while food inflation was 31.52% according to NBS.
With the food inflation rising to 32.84%, and a 2.42% increase in margin, Nigerians are expected to spend more of their income to celebrate the holiday.
Since Tinubu assumed office on May 29, there has been a notable surge in food prices, triggered by his abrupt discontinuation of the petrol subsidy and shortly thereafter by the floating of the naira.
With headline inflation rising to 28.20%, many households are expected to spend a huge chunk of their hard earnings on purchasing food items to celebrate the yuletide with their families.
According to a recent report by the World Bank, an additional 24 million Nigerians have been plunged into poverty due to the incessant rise in inflation.
In addition, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported in October that around 26.5 million Nigerians are at risk of hunger in 2024.
The report also noted that Nigerians in the FCT, Sokoto, Borno, and Zamfara states are most at risk of hunger next year.
Selected food items
Nairametrics earlier reported that in October, prices of certain food items, including beef, tomatoes, beans, and yams, saw increases, according to NBS in its Selected Food Prices Watch Report for October 2023, which was issued in Abuja.
Increase across food products
“The rise in Food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Oil and fat, Potatoes, Yam and other Tubers, Fish, Fruit, Meat, Vegetables and Coffee, Tea and Cocoa.
“On a month-on-month basis, the Food inflation rate in November 2023 was 2.42% this was 0.51% higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2023 (1.91%). The rise in
“Food inflation on a month-on-month basis was caused by a rise in the rate of increase in the average prices of Bread and Cereals, Oil and fat, Meat, Coffee, Tea and Cocoa, Potatoes, Yam and other Tubers.
“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve-months ending November 2023 over the previous twelve-month average was 27.09%, which was a 6.68% points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2022 (20.41%),” the recent report noted.
Over the past few years, food prices in Nigeria have been steadily increasing, with inflation consistently reaching double digits. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported an October inflation rate of 27.33%, the highest in nearly two decades.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics also shows that the average Nigerian reportedly spent around 56% of their income on food.
Recently, the administration of President Bola Tinubu declared a state of emergency on agriculture and food security and moved it to a priority list in the National Security Council.
Part of the administration’s plan aims to address issues such as farm and farmer security, funding, utilization of river basins for all year-round agriculture, creation of a commodity exchange board etc.
It remains to be seen how these plans are implemented.
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Cyrus Ademola is a political and economy analyst with over half a decade experience in journalism, research-based oped, economic reportage and political analysis. His works have been featured on different media outlets, covering from politics to business trends, to crime and security as well as the real estate sector.