Nigeria’s inflation rate climbs to near two-year high of 12.20%

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Nigeria’s annual inflation rose to 12.20% in February, making it the sixth month in a row the figure would escalate, the National Bureau of Statistics declared on Tuesday.

The new rate approaches the 12.48% posted in April 2018, the highest point.

Earlier in January, inflation had stood at 12.13% on account of the advancing momentum of the costs of goods and services.

The new inflation rate emerges as Nigeria grapples with the sweeping adverse effects of border closure on consumer spending.

The food price index hit 14.90% in February up from 14.85% the month before, a development the statistics office pinned down to the soaring costs of bread and cereals, fish, meat, vegetables and oil and fats.

As a protectionist measure to spur local food production, the Nigerian government last August shut its borders to a section of the food import market, notably rice.

But such an ambitious reform is coming at a price too huge for many to bear as economic pundits have noted the heavy strain it puts on disposable income as one of its teething problems.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to meet next week and is anticipated to set a new interest rate as part of its agenda.

The CBN had earlier given the assurance to curb inflation in 2020 by making its monetary policy as stable as possible.

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