The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said in its latest report that Nigeria’s inflation rate hit 15.75 per cent (year-on-year), indicating a 0.86 per cent increase from 14.89 per cent in November.
The report which covers December 2020 showed a 32-month high, the highest rate recorded in three years.
The report showed the index increasing to 1.61 per cent in December from 1.60 per cent recorded in November 2020, thus indicating a 0.01 per cent point increase on a month-on-month basis.
The report noted that food prices pushed the food index higher by 19.56 per cent while core inflation inched up by 0.32 percent to 11.37 per cent in the month under review.
Similarly, urban inflation rose by 16.33 per cent year-on-year, while the rural inflation rate stood at 15.20 per cent.
Average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending December 2020 over the previous 12-month average was 16.17 per cent, 0.42 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2020 (15.75) per cent.
The rise in the food index was hinged on increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fruits, vegetable, fish, oils and fats.
The spike beat the expectations of analysts who had projected an increase to 15.4 percent, largely driven by forex rationing, output and productivity constraints, higher logistics and distribution costs.
The worst hit states included Bauchi, which recorded the highest inflation rate at 19.85 per cent in the month of December 2020, followed by Kogi with an inflation of 18.4.
Others included Edo (18.1), Zamfara (17.9), and Sokoto (17.6)
In terms of food inflation, Edo also recorded the highest rise in inflation with 24.1 per cent, followed by Kogi (23.16), Sokoto (22.2); while Kwara and Zamfara states recorded food inflation of 22.1 and 21.7 per cent respectively.