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Cost of preparing Jollof rises by 7% on diesel price

N16,955 per pot: Nigerians lament as Jollof rice turns gold

The average cost of making a pot of Jollof rice, a popular Nigerian delicacy for a family of five rose by 7.3 percent to N8,595 in Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2022 from N8,008 in Q3 (Jul-Sep) last year, the latest Jollof Index report released Tuesday shows.

The Jollof index report published by SBM Intelligence, an Africa focused geopolitical research and strategic communications consulting firm attributed the increase to issues such as high cost of diesel, petrol scarcity and heightened insecurity.

“Petrol prices typically have a knock-on effect on the cost of transportation and food storage, especially for products like turkey given Nigeria’s precarious power situation which forces pretty much every business to run on expensive petrol or diesel generators,” the report stated.

It also added that animal protein sources like turkey and beef accounted for the increase in most of the states in February and March, making it difficult for many families to afford protein in their meals as they are now more concerned about food quantity, than food quality or dietary requirements.

The SBM Jollof Index is a composite index that tracks how much it costs to make a pot of Jollof rice across 13 markets in nine states in the six geopolitical zones for a family of five or six, the average rural and urban family size in Nigeria.

Read also: Why more than half of Nigerians face food insecurity

The commodities that make up the index are rice, groundnut oil, chicken or turkey, beef, seasoning, pepper, tomatoes, salt and onions. While the index has treaded close to food inflation since collection began in 2016, it has provided a simple way of communicating the realities of inflation to the Nigerian public.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, food inflation (prices) increased to 17.2 percent in March as against 17.1 percent in the previous month. The increase, which is the first rise since December 2021 was a result of the increase in the price of diesel from about N288 per litre in January to over N700 by the end of March, caused by the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

Diesel has a stronghold on Nigeria as it powers a large part of the industrial and commercial activities in the economy, from the trucks used for long-distance haulage of both industrial and finished goods, to small machines used by small-scale enterprises. Cold rooms used to preserve foods and drinks also run on diesel.

Imu Ismaila, a petty trader who deals in frozen fish and chicken said she has lost nearly N100, 000 since the power failure that has lasted for several weeks and has refused to improve. In addition to her loss, she said the cost of preserving her goods has increased, due to the high diesel cost forcing her to increase the price of her wares.

A business survey across some markets in Lagos shows that over the past three weeks, the price for a kilo of turkey rose to N3,200 from N2,700, a kilo of chicken increased to N2,000 from N1,500 and a kilo of Titus fish is N2,000 from N1,700.

“Beef, chicken, and fish have become so costly these days. I am not even talking about turkey, I removed that one from my menu a long time ago, and now that everybody wants to add egg, it has gone up too,” One of the respondents interviewed by SBM said.

Likewise, another respondent who is a meat seller described what he has noticed recently that people are abandoning beef for cheaper parts such as intestines, and other innards in a bid to save cost.

The report also highlighted that across the states surveyed, it cost the most to make a pot of Jollof rice in Wuse II, Abuja at N10,900 while Bayside Mbakpa in Calabar accounts for the lowest cost at N6,840.

“We can only imagine how many more Nigerians will be faced with a food crisis by the end of the year if there are no actionable steps to tackle the already daunting challenges,” analysts at SBM warned.