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Food Prices Surge Amid Economic Challenges

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported an increase in the prices of essential food items in Nigeria, for May.

The price hikes have worsened the financial strain on millions of Nigerians who already spend a large portion of their income on food.

The continuous rise in prices is due to the removal of subsidies, unification of exchange rates, and higher interest rates, amidst a growing fiscal deficit.

Major Price Increases

The report highlighted several key price changes:

  • Brown Beans: The average price for 1kg of brown beans rose by 219.05% year-on-year, from N629.75 in May 2023 to N2,009.23 in May 2024. On a month-to-month basis, the price increased by 44.77%, up from N1,387.90 in April 2024.
  • Tomatoes: The average price for 1kg of tomatoes increased by 196.92% year-on-year, from N498.34 in May 2023 to N1,479.69 in May 2024. Month-to-month, the price rose by 31.71%, up from N1,123.41 in April 2024.
  • White Garri: The average price for 1kg of white garri increased by 200.12% year-on-year, from N371.42 in May 2023 to N1,114.72 in May 2024, with a month-to-month increase of 30.87%.
  • Yam Tuber: The average price for 1kg of yam tuber increased by 189.20% year-on-year, from N457.25 in May 2023 to N1,322.36 in May 2024. Month-to-month, the price rose by 16.98%, up from N1,130.37 in April 2024.
  • Locally Sold Loose Rice: The average price for 1kg of locally sold loose rice stood at N1,608.89, representing a 189.79% increase year-on-year from N555.18 in May 2023 and a 14.98% rise month-to-month from N1,399.34 in April 2024.

READ ALSO: Food Prices Remain Major Contributor To Nigeria’s High Inflation 

State-by-State Analysis

A closer look at state-by-state data reveals price variations:

  • Rice: The highest average price for 1kg of locally sold loose rice was in Kogi State at N2,528.84, while Benue State had the lowest at N1,013.59.
  • Beans: Plateau had the highest average price for 1kg of brown beans at N2,855, with Kebbi State recording the lowest at N1,171.21.
  • Tomatoes: Rivers State had the highest average price for 1kg of tomatoes at N2,100.12, while Katsina had the lowest at N775.02.
  • Garri: Gombe reported the highest average price for 1kg of white garri at N1,613.29, while Kwara had the lowest at N825.70.

Regional Differences

The report also highlighted regional price differences:

  • Rice: The Northeast had the highest average price for 1kg of locally sold loose rice at N1,821.77, followed by the Southwest at N1,698.53, with the Southeast recording the lowest at N1,328.44.
  • Beans: The highest average prices were in the North-Central and South-South regions at N2,574.52 and N2,293.03, respectively, while the Northwest had the lowest at N1,379.97.
  • Tomatoes: The South-South recorded the highest average price for 1kg of tomatoes at N2,053.59, followed by the Southeast at N1,643.76, with the Northeast having the lowest at N1,050.84.
  • Garri: The Southwest and Northeast had the highest average prices for 1kg of white garri at N1,294.51 and N1,138.62, respectively, while the North-Central had the lowest at N1,021.20.

Public Reaction

Nigerians are voicing their frustrations and concerns about the rising food prices. A resident of Lagos, Amina, said, “We can barely afford basic meals now. The government needs to do something.”

Many Nigerians are calling for urgent government intervention to address the escalating costs and provide relief to struggling families.

Government Response

The government has acknowledged the issue but has yet to implement effective measures to control the prices. Economic experts suggest that more comprehensive policies are needed to stabilise the economy and ensure affordable food prices.

The ongoing rise in food prices highlights the urgent need for economic reforms and effective government intervention.

As Nigerians continue to struggle with the high cost of living, addressing the root causes of inflation is crucial for the well-being of millions across the country.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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