The cost of living for Nigerians has spiked, as food prices across the country rose by 25.6percent in one year, a BusinessDay analysis shows.
According to the recent Selected Food Price Watch for April 2022 by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the aggregate average price of 43 food items across the country increased by 26 percent to N36, 586.2 from N29, 119.8.
Ayorinde Akinloye, an investment and research analyst at United Capital plc said the steep surge in food prices in April was largely due to strong demand resulting from the festivities of Ramadan and Easter whereas food supply remains short as insecurity in the North and legacy structural deficiencies continue to limit food output.
Food, a basic necessity for human survival, takes almost 60 percent of household expenditure. Data from NBS show that in 2019, total household expenditure in Nigeria stood at N40 trillion out of which N22. 7 trillion was spent on food alone.
In April, Nigeria’s food inflation rose 2.0 percent points higher to 18.37 percent, the highest in seven months compared to 17.20 percent in March.
On how the increase in food prices is affecting households, Damilola Adewale, a Lagos-based economic analyst noted that they are having a poorer living standard as a greater portion of their budget goes to food-related expenses, leading to less savings and investment.
“In essence, the astronomical increase we see in food prices lowers their purchasing power and living standards.”
A breakdown of the NBS report shows that the average price of 1kg of beans (white, black eye, sold loose) rose on a year-on-year basis by 44.3 percent to N519.1 in April 2022 from N359.6 in April 2021.
Also, on a month-on-month basis, this increased by 2.6 percent from N505.9 in March 2022. The average price of 500g of bread increased on a year-on-year basis by 35.31 percent from N333.0 in April 2021 to N450.5 in April 2022. On a month-on-month basis, the average price of this item increased by 0.6 percent in April 2022.
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Similarly, the average price of 1kg yam tuber on a year-on-year basis rose by 42.9 percent from the value recorded in April 2021 (N252.8) to N361.2 in April 2022.
On a month-on-month basis, it increased from N353.6 in March 2022 to N361.2 in April 2022, indicating 2.2 percent growth.
In addition, the average price of groundnut oil: 1 bottle, specified bottle stood at N1, 007.68 in April 2022, showing an increase of 46.2 percent from N689.2 in April 2021.
On a month-on-month basis, it rose by 1.3 percent from N994.6 in March 2022.
At the state level, Ebonyi recorded the highest average price of beans (white, black eye, sold loose) with N875.7, while the lowest was reported in Borno with N256.7.
The highest average price of bread at 500g was recorded in Ebonyi with N650.0, while the lowest was recorded in Borno with N261.4. In addition, Akwa-Ibom recorded the highest price of 1kg yam tuber with N695.9, while Bauchi recorded the lowest with N133.3.
Analysis by zone showed that the South-East recorded the highest average price of beans (brown, sold loose) with N831.1, followed by the South-South with N676.1, while the North-East recorded the least with N307.2.
Similarly, the South-East recorded the highest average price of 500g bread with N601.1, followed by the South-South with N550.2, while the lowest was recorded in the North-East with N278.5.
The average price of 1kg of yam tuber was higher in the South-West and the South-South with N528.8 and N495.0 respectively, while the lowest was recorded in the North-East with N142.8.