Inflation Was Boosted By COVID-19, Not Peculiar To Nigeria Alone — Presidency Cautions Buhari’s Critics

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Spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has stated that the inflation spike is a global problem which is not peculiar to Nigeria.

Information Nigeria reports that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had on Monday released its latest report showing its Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services.

The CPI rose to 22.22 percent in April 2023, up from 22.04 percent in the previous month, coming across as the fourth consecutive surge in the country’s inflation figure since the year began.

According to NBS, items such as food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, fuel and others contributed largely on the divisional level to the increase in the headline index.

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However, following the NBS’ announcement, some reports have tallied the inflation to the President’s eight years of administration.

But Shehu in a statement on Tuesday, said the global economic downturn was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and that no nation was immune to it.

The presidential spokesperson added that Nigeria’s heavy reliance on importation worsened the outcome.

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His words: “Inflation was boosted everywhere by the COVID-19 lockdowns with severe impact on national economies due to the dislocation of manufacturing and supply chains. This is what led to fewer goods and the rises in prices of those goods reaching the market,” the statement reads.

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“Considering that Nigeria relies heavily on imports for essential products like petroleum, cooking oils, fertilizers, crop chemicals, and others, international price fluctuations significantly impact local prices. The government, unless it chooses to disregard the principles of free trade, has limited manoeuvrability in this regard.

“France, which enjoyed a stable average inflationary regime of 4.1 percent from 1960-2022 is today reporting price increases of up to 1,080.36%.

“At 10.1 percent, UK inflation is at a 41-year high. Ghana’s inflation rate had hit a two-decade high of 54.1 percent before a recent decrease. Turkey’s rate is 45 percent, and Pakistan has also reported an alarming high inflation rate compared to countries with similar profiles.

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“The war in Ukraine meant a rocketing in foodstuff prices leading to fear of famine in many countries, never mind inflation.”

Suggesting that the Buhari administration is not making efforts to address the surging inflation is worrisome, Shehu said.

According to him, Buhari has consistently prioritized efforts to control inflation and will continue to do so.




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