By Omoh GabrielThe general rise in prices of goods and services in Nigeria hit an all time highof 18.3 per cent in October. This meansthat the prices of food items and other consumables have gone up considerably making it difficult for the average person to eat three squaremeals a day. Inflation has been on therise for 12 months.The general rise in prices is attributable to exchange-rate pressures that have persisted on its impact on the prices of goods and services, complicating the central bank’s task of supporting an economy in recession.In the market place prices of various food items such as yams, garri, palm oil, fruits and vegetables, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels as well as, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment and education increased considerably in thelast three months.

In fact pure water which is the common man’s water on the go has gone up from N5 per sachetto N10 in major cities across the country.A medium-sized basket of fresh peppernow sells for N10,000.00, from N5, 000, while a basket of chili pepper goes for N13, 000.00, as against the N5, 500.00 it sold for previously. A jute bag of onions goes for N12, 500.00 from N11, 000.00, while a 20-litre keg of vegetable oil goes for N6, 100 as against N6, 000 previously.A four-litre paint measurement of garri that sold for N300 is now N650. At the Daleko Market,

Isolo, the pricesof the various brands of a 50-kilogramme bag of rice ranges fromN17, 000 to N25, 000. A bag of lower grades of rice which sold for N9, 000 in December 2015, sold for N13 000 in April this year is now about N20, 000. A five litre of groundnut oil which wasselling for N1, 700 before, is now selling for N2, 200, while its 3.8ltr now sells for N2, 000, as against the former price of N1, 600. A 4 litre keg of groundnut oil previously selling for N1,800 now goes for N3,500, just as a big keg which formerly sold for N6, 500, now stands at N10, 500. At the aforementioned markets, a 20- litre keg of palm oil that sold for N6, 000 is now selling for N15, 500, while a bottle which was selling at N200 before, now sells at N450.Also a big basin of garri which had sold for N1, 500 now sells for N9,000 while one paint bucket of it which wasselling for N200 now sells for N700. A five kilogram and 10 Kilogram of semovita which was selling for N1,800 and N3,000 before, now sells for N4,000 and N6,500, respectively, even as the price of a five kilogramme bail of wheat which previously sold for N900 now goes for N1,000.

A 120 kilogramme bag of beans costs N24, 500.00, up from the N22, 000 it sold for.The rate of price increases rose to 18.3per cent, the highest in 11 years, from17.9 per cent in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report released yesterday on its website.  Prices of goods and service rose generally by 0.8 percent from the previous month. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures the rate of price increase, inflation increased by 18.3 percent (year-on-year) in October 2016, 0.48 per cent points higher from the rate recorded in September (17.9 percent).According to National Bureau of Statistics NBS, “increases were recorded across almost all major divisions which contribute to the headline index. Communication and Restaurants and Hotels recorded the slowest pace of growth in October, growing at 5.7 per cent and 9.4 per cent year-on-year respectively.“The Food Index”,

which shows the rate of increases in food prices, “rose by 17.1 per cent (year-on-year) in October, up by 0.47 percent points from 16.6 per cent recorded in September. During the month, all major food groups which contribute to the Food sub-index increased with fruits recording the slowest pace of increase at 11.5 percent.“Price movements recorded by the All Items less farm produce or core sub-index rose by 18.1 per cent (year-on-year) in October, up by 0.4 per cent points from rates recorded in September, 17.7 percent. During the month, the highest increases were seen in housing, water, electricity, gasand other fuels as well as, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment and education.“Significant price movement under thecore sub-index was also recorded for clothing and footwear, which recorded an increase of 17.8 percent year on year. The groups with least growth pace recorded in October were Communication 5.7 percent, restaurants and hotels (9.4 percent) and recreation and culture (10.3 percent). On a month-on-month basis,the headline index rose by 0.83 percent in October, higher from the rate recorded in September (0.81 percent).

“The Urban index rose by 19.9 percent (year-on-year) in October from 19.5 percent recorded in September, and theRural index increased by 16.95 percent in October from 16.4 percent in September. On month-on-month basis,the urban index rose by 0.81 percent inOctober from 0.79 percent recorded in September, while the rural index rose by 0.84 percent in October from 0.83 percent in September. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in October 2016 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 14.2 percent, higher from 13.5 percent recorded in September. The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index increased from 14.4 percent in September to 15.3percent in October, while the corresponding rural index also increasedfrom 12.6 percent in September to 13.3percent in October.

The Composite Food Index rose by 17.1 percent in October 2016. The rise in the index was caused by increase in prices of bread and cereal, fish, and meat.On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increase by 0.86 percent in October from 0.81 percent recorded in September. The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in October2016 over the previous twelve-month average was 13.82 percent, 0.58 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in September 13.24 percent”.

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