Economy

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Hits 33.2%, Highest in Nearly 30 Years

Nigeria’s annual inflation rate has reached its highest level in nearly 30 years, new data has shown.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the rate jumped to 33.2 per cent in March, a 1.5 percent increase from February.

Food remains the main driver of inflation, owing to the rising cost of commodities including bread, grains, dairy, eggs, meat, and vegetable oil.

Rising energy costs also contributed, with many manufacturers paying a premium to power their production lines and transport goods within the country.

The naira, Nigeria’s local currency, had strengthened, but this improvement is yet to be reflected in the prices of goods and services.

The naira significantly gained against the US dollar after falling to a record low of 1,825 naira to $1(£0.80) over a month ago, a depreciation of almost 70 percent.

The Central Bank had increased borrowing rates twice in the last two months to shrink access to capital and curb inflation, but these gains are also yet to be felt.

Africa’s largest economy is facing an intense economic slump that has forced people into poverty.

Two weeks ago, in a bid to reduce electricity subsidy payments and increase government savings, the ministers increased electricity tariffs by over 300% for consumers who use relatively large amounts of energy, like businesses and households in high-end neighbourhoods.

However, some Nigerians who don’t fall into these categories have complained that their bills have also gone up. Many Nigerians are struggling to manage shrinking purchasing power and eroded savings, but the government has said its economic measures and policies will help stabilise the economy eventually. The naira now exchanges at 1,140 naira to a dollar.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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