14.23% Inflation rate: Nigerian government must break its elastic limit

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All indices practically and glaringly reflects that Nigeria’s economic situation is by and large undesirable. The prevailing intense depression is such that has placed the low income earners at the end of dehumanizing conditions. Coping with the present conditions of downturn is gradually becoming unbearable, as basic human necessities is increasingly becoming difficult to afford by the low income earners. The fact that larger percentage of the Nigerian population leave under the minimum standard of living within the bracket of low income earners, has placed Nigeria at the height of a poverty entity.

As food being one of the most essential human necessity is becoming unaffordable to the masses living under the poverty line, the situation calls for thoughts and urgent actions to address the deepening economic failures. On Monday, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that hike in food prices and other individual consumption across the country further increased the inflation rate in Nigeria to 14.23 per cent in October 2020. According to the report, Nigeria’s inflation increased again in October by 0.52 per cent when compared to what was recorded in the preceding month. It was revealed that increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose divisions that yielded the headline index. On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.54 per cent in October 2020, representing 0.06 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 (1.48 per cent). Details of the report revealed that the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending October 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 12.66 per cent. This showed a 0.22 per cent point rise from 12.44 per cent recorded in September 2020. The urban inflation rate increased by 14.81 per cent (year-on-year) in October 2020 from 14.31 per cent recorded in September 2020. Rural inflation rate on the other hand, increased by 13.68 per cent in October 2020 from 13.14 per cent in September 2020. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.6 per cent in October 2020, up by 0.04 from 1.56 per cent recorded in September 2020. The rural index also rose by 1.48 per cent in October 2020, up by 0.08 from the rate recorded in September 2020 (1.40 per cent). The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 13.29 per cent in October 2020. This was higher than 13.07 per cent reported in September 2020, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in October 2020 was 12.09 per cent compared to 11.86 per cent recorded in September 2020. The report had read partly: “The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation increased by 14.23 per cent (year-on-year) in October 2020. This is 0.52 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 (13.71 per cent).”

Nigeria is presently wading through hard times, which magnitude may not comparatively pose a resembling juxtaposition of any similar past situation. The conditions of the present times have been argued to be the worst Nigeria has ever had to go through. The chains of consequences arising from imbalances and disturbances in the Country’s economy, has continued to brew winds of confusion across the Country. While this is the present reality, it remains that something must be done with much  alacrity to avoid calamities. It is therefore significant with the sensations of the State-of-the-Nation, that the attention the economy demands at this time when the polity is highly heated up, is one of extraordinary approach that gives no luxury of laxity.

The continuous hardship in the Country owing to strings of gross mismanagement of the economy, has precipitated the waves of worsening conditions, attracting displeasures from various quarters. The current national distress which has set the polity on heat of wide fire, is largely owing to strings of gross economic distress that has left the masses to acute socio-economic hardship. The essentials of coming up with a comprehensive and convincing economic blueprint, to strategically lift the Country’s economy from the scourge of inflation and depression is mostly urgent to douse the rising tension in the Country. Fear of the high possibilities of the present worsening socio-economic conditions degenerating into unbearable state of affairs, has continued to create tension among the populace. Dousing such tensions with proactive and pragmatic policy efforts are highly essential for the time being.

It is therefore paramount that the Government urgently convene an engaging economic summit with seasoned technocrats, with the input of the populace and business stakeholders, to come up with vibrant policy initiatives to give directions to efforts geared at salvaging the Country out of the mess of economic downturn, which is by and large orchestrating gross harshness of living conditions in the Country. While pressuring necessity is currently on the Government, this move is essentially timely to forestall a looming breakdown of order that may arise from continuous frustrations of the populace; finding expression in the ongoing unrest which has engulfed the Country. The necessity for the Government to move beyond its elastic point in exploring all possible strategic measures to redress the prevailing depression is  sine qua non and highly demanding. Any thing falling short of such approach, is a recipe for lingering in deepening depression which has been the bane of the heating disorder currently experienced across the Country. The prevailing conditions which has been rendering the present administration unpopular, requires sequential economic navigations with convincing results to Nigerians home and abroad.