Costs of goods and services in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, maintained their upward movement in September 2023 as headline inflation soared to 26.72 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced yesterday. This is the ninth straight month inflation rose in Nigeria, compounding the pressures on households and businesses.

“In September 2023, the headline inflation rate increased to 26.72% relative to the August 2023 headline inflation rate which was 25.80%. Looking at the movement, the September 2023 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.92% points when compared to the August 2023 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 5.94% points higher compared to the rate recorded in September 2022, which was 20.77%. This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in September 2023 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., September 2022),” NBS said on Monday.

It should be recalled that earlier, the World Bank had warned Nigeria of the consequences of the rising inflation in the country.

“High inflation means that more Nigerians became poor. Not only did poverty increase, but food insecurity rose too. Inflation pushed an estimated 4 million more Nigerians into poverty in the first 5 months of 2023,” the World Bank said.

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Food inflation jumped to 30.64 percent in September 2023 compared to 29.34 percent in August 2023 and 23.34 percent in the previous year.

The all items less farm produce and energy inflation increased marginally to 21.84 percent, the lowest among the headline and food inflation, confirming that inflationary pressures in the country are from food and energy sources.

Urban inflation increased to 28.68 percent in September as against 27.69 percent in August of this year. On the other hand, rural inflation was 29.94 percent in September 2023 in contrast to 24.10 percent in August this year, implying that it is now costlier to live in the urban centres than in the rural areas.

Kogi, Rivers and Lagos states have the highest inflation rates in the country, at 32.94 percent, 30.63 percent, and 30.04 percent respectively while Benue 23.22 percent, Jigawa, 22.39 percent, and Borno at 21.05 percent have the least inflation rates in the country.

While the same states having the highest inflation rates are also the same have the highest food inflation rates, however, those with the least food inflation rates in the country are Sokoto at 25.38 percent, Borno at 25.29 percent, and Jigawa, at 23.41 percent respectively.