Nigeria’s inflation rate reached 21.82% in January

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The inflation rate in Nigeria rose to 21.82% in January from 21.34% a month earlier, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

December saw the inflation rate fall for the first time in 11 months, however, the rate picked up again in January.

Food-price inflation, which accounts for agricultural products, increased to 24.32% in January from 23.75% in the previous month, the NBS said.

The rise in food inflation was caused by increases in prices for bread and cereals, oil and fat, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, vegetable, fruits, meat, and food products.

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However, the Central Bank of Nigeria said the overall increase in prices was largely due to the progressive hikes in electricity tariffs and energy prices.

Diesel oil used in heavy transport has more than doubled compared with a year ago and is now selling at N850 a liter compared to N350 to N400 a year ago.

Petrol remains scarce in Nigeria with long queues at gas filling stations across the country. Stations run by independent marketers currently sell petrol at between N250 to N330 a liter instead of N185 a liter set by the government.

Currently the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp Ltd., is the sole importer of gasoline, which is heavily subsidized by the federal government. Independent oil importers are unable to import gasoline due to a shortage of U.S. dollars, they said.

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