- Experts are picking holes in the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics that inflation is going down in Nigeria while the reality on the streets is a complete opposite
- They say the data reeled out by the NBS is supposed to be a tool for planning governments at all levels in Nigeria but worry that it may not be accurate
- NBS said Nigeria witnessed the lowest inflation rate in the month of November as compared to the same period last year
Nigerians have said the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) uses a scientific calculator to measure Nigeria’s inflation rate.
This, they say, is because what the NBS says is the complete opposite of the reality on the ground.
Analysts and market watchers have picked holes in the data agency’s report, saying it rarely reflects on people’s purchasing power.
Publisher of The Industry newspaper and 789 Marketing website, Goddie Ofose, in an interview with Legit.ng, faulted the data body, saying its statistics should come from the streets and not from the scientific measures they employ.
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According to him:
“Going by this season. This season is a festive season and what happens with every festive season is that there is always a price hike. There is always a scarcity of products because there are so many people chasing these products like rice knowing fully well that we’ve not been importing rice officially. We have been depending on the local production. And since bandits have taken over the North, people have not been producing. The price of rice is going to go up, obviously. It has gone up, beans have gone up."
Ofose said if the inflation rate is dropping, it should reflect on the pockets of the ordinary Nigerians.
“You as an ordinary Nigerian should know what your N5,000 got you in October and what it can get you in November. I still don’t understand where the Bureau of Statistics generates its data from. It is supposed to come from the everyday market.”
Ofose said the NBS may be gauging the government’s body language at this time.
According to him, the statistics are supposed to align and be a tool for planning.
“When you are giving statistic that is at variance with reality then there is a problem. And that is why we are where we are because those who are responsible to generate these statistics are not giving us what could match the reality on the ground so planning becomes very difficult that is why governments on all levels are unable to plan and solve the problem that we are having.”
NBS said on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, that Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped further in the month of November 2021 to 15.4 per cent from 15.99 per cent recorded in the previous month.
The report said the latest figures represent the lowest since November 2020, when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 14.89 per cent.
However, on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.08 per cent in November 2021, this is 0.10 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in October 2021 (0.98 per cent).
The urban inflation rate increased by 15.92 per cent (year-on-year) in November 2021 from 15.47 per cent recorded in November 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 14.89 per cent in November 2021 from 14.33% in November 2020.
Food inflation dropped significantly to 17.21 per cent in November 2021 from 18.34 per cent recorded in October 2021. Food inflation dropped to its lowest level in 14 months. On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.07 per cent in November 2021, up by 0.16 per cent points from 0.91 per cent recorded in October 2021.
The food index was caused by a hike in prices of bread and cereals, fish, food product, potatoes, yam and other tubers, oil and fats, milk, cheese and eggs and coffee, tea, and cocoa.
What is core inflation?
The “all items less farm produce” also known as core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.85 per cent in the review month, rising from 13.24 per cent recorded in the previous month.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, Liquid fuel, other services, garments, Vehicle spare parts, passenger transport by road, non-durable household goods, Jewellery clocks and watches, passenger transport by air, pharmaceutical products, appliances, articles and products for personal care, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing and fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment.
Inflation in states
In November 2021, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Gombe (18.54%), Jigawa (17.54%) and Nasarawa (17.43%), while Kwara (11.73%), River (13.36%) and Edo (13.50%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation.
In terms of food inflation, Gombe State also recorded the highest year-on-year increase at 21.83% followed by Kogi (21.09%), and Nasarawa State (20.48%), while Edo (14.12%), Rivers (14.31%) and Osun (14.45%) recorded the slowest rise in year-on-year food inflation
What it means
Nigeria’s inflation rate recorded its 8th consecutive moderation in November 2021, falling to its lowest level in 12 months. However, a 15.4% headline inflation rate implies that the purchasing power of Nigerians continues to weaken as a result of an increase in the prices of goods and services.
Legit.ng had reported Nigeria's inflation rate rose by 17.33% on a year-on-year basis in February 2021, making it the highest in four years. Last month's rate is 0.86% higher than the 16.47% the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported in January 2021.
While the lowest inflation rate was recorded by Cross River which experienced a 12.97% inflation increase in February, Kwara State accounted for a 14.25% inflation rate and Enugu State's inflation rate hit 14.73%.
For food inflation, Kogi State recorded 30.47%, Ebonyi State inflation rose to 25.73%, while in Sokoto State, it increased to 25.68% on a year-on-year basis.