A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Muoghalu, said the inflationary rate surge to 20.52 per cent, as revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on September 15, would see many Nigerians struggling to feed.
Muoghalu, positing many Nigerians would be pushed further into poverty, said, “It’s going to increase poverty. Let’s consider people that manufacture sachet water and the mama put sellers. When they can no longer buy beans, yam, vegetables that people in the streets eat, they are going into poverty.
“When families cannot afford price of egg or basic food items to balance their diet, then you will have malnutrition. Rising inflation fuels all these concerns.”
He stressed that the implications would lead further to lack of productivity and unemployment, which he said would affect per capita income and Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Muoghalu also described inflation as a regressive tax on the poor.
He noted that Nigeria’s inflation was not mainly aligned to global economic distress, but was largely structural.
“Our inflation problems is mostly caused by domestic issues. We are a one-product economy, depending on crude oil for our foreign exchange.
“If the price of crude oil tanks, or when the production is low as a result of oil theft, it affects the economy. It puts our books off balance and puts our us in debts. All these things intertwined and push up inflation,” he said.
Notably, the NBS had released the latest consumer price index, which measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services, which surged to 20.52 per cent in August 2022, up from 19.64 per cent in the previous month.
The 20.52 figure is the highest in 17 years.
NBS said the rate was 3.52 per cent higher, compared to the 17.01 per cent figure recorded in August 2021, indicating a rush (year-on-year) in August 2022.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.