• Monday, December 04, 2023
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Why households may avoid jollof rice this Christmas

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A survey by SBM Intelligence found that Nigerians spend 97 percent of their monthly income on food, and cooking one pot of jollof rice will take almost half of this, according to the latest Jollof Rice index by the same organization.

According to the recently released Jollof Index, a family of five that earns the monthly minimum wage of N30,000 would have to spend 43.7 per cent of the pay to cook a pot of Jollof.

This means that the average cost of preparing a pot of the popular Nigerian delicacy has risen from N4,087 in July 2016 to N13,106 in September 2023.

New government new ‘wahala’
After being sworn in, the Tinubu administration removed the fuel subsidy and then floated the Naira a few months later.

The floating of the naira increased the official exchange rate from N463.38/$ to N791.75/$ on Friday, while the parallel market rate stood at N1,135/$.

The high cost of dollars and the implementation of a now-suspended 7.5 percent value-added tax on diesel imports pushed its pump price from N1,200 to N1,500 per litre.

Combined with the increase in food inflation- the highest in 18 years- this new wahala has worsened food affordability and accessibility.

Read also Jollof cost more than triples in seven years

Is avoiding jollof rice this Christmas an option?
The Jollof index is prepared by gathering monthly data from 13 markets spread across the country’s six geopolitical zones and is arrived at using the ingredients’ costs.

Ingredients that make up the index are rice, groundnut oil, chicken or turkey, beef, seasoning, pepper, tomatoes, salt and onions. The way inflation affects the prices of food items is also recorded.

Rice carries the weight of most of the cost, with a bag of rice reaching N56,000 due to the rising fuel costs and the currency devaluation, which affects imports.

The SBM report highlighted that across the 13 markets, Wuse II in Abuja is the most expensive place to make jollof rice at N15,900, while it is the cheapest in Onitsha, Anambra at N10,280.

Will you spend half of your salary to cook a pot of Jollof rice? Is avoiding jollof rice this Christmas an option?