CBN Gov Emefiele blames insecurity for inflation and economic hardship in Nigeria

Emefiele submits that worsening security in many parts of the country is contributing significantly to inflation.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Godwin Emefiele (Left) at the 4th Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on ECOWAS single currency in Niamey Niger Republic in 2019 (Presidency)

Headline inflation in Nigeria spiked to 17.33% in February 2021 from 16.47% in January; with food inflation rising to 21.79% from 20.57% in January 2021, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

17.33% is Nigeria's highest double digit inflation figure since 18.72% was recorded in February 2017.

Presenting the communique from the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which began on Monday, March 22, Emefiele explained that inflation, which has been on the uptick for the 18th consecutive month, has been exacerbated by food inflation.

He added that insecurity in many food-producing areas of the country has been a major contributory factor to worsening inflation and economic hardship.

“The MPC noted with concern the continued uptick in inflationary pressure for the 18th consecutive month as headline inflation continued on an upward to 17.33 per cent at the end of February 2021 from 16.47 per cent in January 2021.

“This increase continues to be attributed to both food and other core components of inflation.

“This specific uptick in food inflation was the major driving factor for the uptick in headline inflation.

“This was due to the worsening security situation in many parts of the country, particularly the food-producing areas where farmers faced frequent attacks by herdsmen and bandits in their farms,” he said.

The CBN Governor noted that while the apex bank is making significant intervention in the agricultural sector, rising insecurity is limiting expected outcomes in terms of food supply to the markets.

He added that the situation is a major contributory factor to the rise in food prices.

In a recent editorial on reining-in galloping inflation, Pulse had also identified rising insecurity in the north as a major contributory factor to the latest grim economic numbers.


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