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Nigeria’s inflation lowers, still regional highest

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released July inflation numbers on Friday, showing a decline by 0.14% to 11.08%.

Nigeria remains the country with the 8th highest inflation in the African continent. In the region, average inflation in 2019 is projected to be 8.4%. Nigeria’s inflation has consistently been above the regional average in the past few years.

However, it is worth mentioning that food inflation dropped to 13.39% from 13.56% in June. In the last year, the food basket has been mostly responsible for the direction of inflation.

This is because it accounts for more than 50% of the weight in the general basket. The food index declined by approximately 0.60% in the last two months due to a number of factors including a favourable harvest.

However, other inflation stoking factors that have been benign are likely to become potent in August and September. These factors include, the minimum wage implementation and the adjustment in the exchange rate for computing custom duty which moved to N326/$ from N305/$. Assuming that 60% of all goods imported attract a duty, the shift from N305/$ to N326/$ will have a pass through effect of approximately N25.7bn. The apex bank is also contemplating adding dairy products to the list of items restricted from forex. Annual dairy imports is estimated at $1.2bn.

In recent times, the President directed the CBN to prohibit forex access for all food imports. This could push up commodity prices and stoke inflation. In Q1’19, food imports was estimated at $1.1bn, 10.7% of total imports. Imported food inflation in Q2 was 15.72%, 2.04% higher than domestic food inflation.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.