Nigerians are now spending more to prepare a pot of Jollof than they did in 2016, thanks to the price of vegetable oil which drove the cost to N5,974, data by SBM Intelligence , a research arm of SB Morgen that tracks prices of key household items across major markets in Nigeria revealed.
Three years ago when SBM commenced tracking the prices of commodities required to prepare a pot of jollof rice across the country, the national average cost stood at N5,072, 17 percent or N902 less than the current cost.
According to the June 2019 data by SBM Intelligence, of the ingredients involved in cooking a pot of jollof rice, that is, salt, seasoning, curry, thyme, pepper, tomatoes, vegetable oil, tinned tomatoes, beef, turkey, onions and rice, the prices of salt and other items remained remarkably stable over the three year period, experiencing only slight variations except for Vegetable oil which surged by 100 percent in the review period.
“The key drivers of the increase in the jollof Index were rice, beef, turkey and vegetable oil. Vegetable oil particularly proved to be most volatile, with price increasing by almost 100 percent in some markets across the country,” SBM Jollof index report said.
Interestingly, the price of rice has been on a steady decline in all but the Abuja markets since July 2016 when SBM commenced tracking the prices of commodities required to prepare a pot of jollof rice, as compiled from the june index.
As a staple consumed all over Nigeria, the cost of jollof is a good indicator to measure inflation rate in a country that has about 92.1 percent of its citizens living on less than N2000 a day.
According data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as analysed by BusinessDay, Nigeria’s inflation rate rose at a slower pace in June 2019 to the lowest level in eleven month, fuelled by decline in core inflation and moderation in food prices.
The Composite Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of the general change in the prices of consumer goods and services purchased by households over a period, rose by 11.22 percent on a year-on-year basis in June 2019.
This represents 0.18 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in May 2019 (11.40) percent and the lowest inflation rate recorded by the country since June 2018 when inflation rose by 11.23 percent.
However, at the current level, the nation’s headline inflation remains higher than the threshold of 6 percent to 9 percent set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The index has remained in the double-digit trajectory since February 2016 when it rose 11.38 percent.
A dive into the data by SBM Intelligence revealed that, over the last three years, the North West and North Central markets were consistently the most expensive places to cook a pot of jollof in Nigeria, trending above the national average.
Although, until December 2018, Sabongeri Market in Kano had the costliest jollof index. However, from the first half of 2019, Wuse 2 in Abuja took over as the costliest place to cook jollof nationwide. The South East, South South, and Lagos, consistently trend below the average.
Furthermore, the data from the jollof index was not far from what NBS reported for state with highest and lowest inflation rate.
According to the state funded bureau, all items inflation on year on year to June 2019 was highest in Bauchi (15.40%), Kebbi (14.73%) and Kaduna (13.91%), while Delta (9.46%), Kwara (9.01%) and Bayelsa (8.56%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation.