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Inflation rate hit 14.23%, highest in four years – NBS

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By AbdulAzeez Dare

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released the consumer price index for October 2020 and it puts the inflation rate at 14.23 per cent.

The figure indicates that the inflation rate jumped by 0.52 percentage points, which is the highest since July 2016 when the inflation rate increased by 0.65 percentage points.

Inflation measures the rate at which the prices of goods and services increase over a period of time.

The October CPI/Inflation report released on Monday showed that food inflation hit 17.38 per cent in October 2020 compared to 16.66 per cent in September 2020.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.54 per cent in October 2020, this is 0.06 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 (1.48 per cent).

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, showing 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, while the rural inflation rate 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 1.60 per cent in October 2020, up by 0.04 from 1.56 per cent recorded in September 2020, while 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 is 13.29 per cent in October 2020. This is higher than 13.07 per cent reported in September 2020, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in October 2020 is 12.09 per cent compared to 11.86 per cent recorded in September 2020.

This rise in the food index was said to be caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, fruits, vegetable, alcoholic and food beverages and oils and fats.

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.96 per cent in October 2020, up by 0.08 per cent points from 1.88 percent recorded in September 2020.

The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending October 2020 over the previous 12-month average was 15.42 per cent, representing a 0.29 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in September 2020 (15.13) per cent.

The “All items less farm produce” or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 11.14 per cent in October 2020, up by 0.56 per cent when compared with 10.58 per cent recorded in September 2020.

On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.25 per cent in October 2020. This was up by 0.31 per cent when compared with 0.94 percent recorded in September 2020.

The highest increases were recorded in prices of passenger transport by air, hospital and medical services, passenger transport by road, pharmaceutical products, motor cars, vehicle spare parts, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, paramedical services and shoes and other footwear.

The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 9.96 per cent for the twelve-month period ending October 2020 representing is 0.19 per cent points higher than 9.77 per cent recorded in September 2020.

In October 2020, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Zamfara (17.69 per cent), Sokoto (16.99 per cent) and Ebonyi (16.91 per cent), while Lagos (11.96 per cent), Abuja (11.84 per cent) and Cross River (10.50 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation.

On month on month basis however, October 2020 all items inflation was highest in Sokoto (2.91%), Edo (2.53%) and Akwa Ibom (2.52%), while Oyo (0.69%), Taraba (0.60%) and Jigawa (0.37%) recorded the slowest rise in headline month on month inflation.

In October 2020, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Edo (21.65%), Zamfara (20.88%) and Kogi (20.58%), while Lagos (14.57%), Ogun (14.47%) and Ondo (14.23%) recorded the slowest rise.

On month on month basis however, October 2020 food inflation was highest in Kwara (3.88%), Edo (3.81%) and Sokoto (3.65%), while Oyo (0.57%) and Jigawa (0.54%) and Taraba (0.29%) recorded the slowest rise on month on month inflation.

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Buhari to present 2023 budget proposal to NASS Friday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 Appropriations bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.

The appropriations bill will contain budget proposals for the 2023 fiscal year.

He made this known in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, which was read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

The formal budget presentation is scheduled for 10am

and it will be the last main budget Buhari will be presenting as he will leave office on 29 May 2023 when his second four year term will end.

The Federal Government is already proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year with a budget deficit of about N12.41 trillion.

Some key assumptions in the proposal include an estimated oil benchmark of $70, crude oil production put at 1.69mbpd, exchange rate of N435.57/$ and inflation rate at 17.16 per cent.

The Federal Government pegged growth rate at 3.75 per cent because it believes that “Growth is expected to be moderated to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.”

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had disclosed that the federal government will borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit in 2023.

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ASUU also corrupt, undermining govt investment – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said a number of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are involved in corrupt practices.

He said the corruption in the universities and other institutions was undermining government’s funding and investment in education.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over increase in lecturers’ allowances and salaries as well as improved funding for the universities.

Buhari has appealed to the union to call off the strike but the lecturers have stood their ground.

The President on Tuesday while declaring open the Fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), said ASUU was no less complicit in the corruption in tertiary education.

He said corruption in the education sector had continued to undermine investments, while critics downplayed funding by focusing only on budgetary allocations, urging a more comprehensive re-evaluation of expenditure.

The President said, “This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and create an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.

“Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.

“The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the Federal and State Governments.

“The total education budget for each year is therefore a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed as other financial commitments in their totality.

“The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND.

“Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.

“I call on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. Let me also implore the Unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.

“Due to declining resources, the government cannot bear the cost of funding education alone. I task our academics to attract endowments, research and other grants to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education similar to what obtains in other countries.”

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Seven police officers dismissed, 10 others demoted

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The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Tuesday, dismissed seven senior police officers over gross misconduct.

The commission also announced the demotion of 10 other officers through reduction in rank.

These decisions were taken during the continuation of the 15th plenary meeting of the commission.

The meeting is expected to end on Thursday, October 6, 2022, according to a report by The Trust.

Presided over by its acting chairman, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, the meeting considered all the Pending Disciplinary Matters (PDM) before the commission.

The PDMs, which totalled 47, also treated some appeals from dismissed police officers.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting in Abuja, the spokesman for the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, said, the dismissed officers include one CSP, one SP and five ASPs.

He said that one SP was retired in public interest, adding that the commission reduced the ranks of one CSP to SP, three SPs to DSP, and two DSPs to ASPs.

The commission further reduced the ranks of four ASPs to Inspectors.

10 senior police officers, including an ACP, a CSP, a SP and two DSPs were given the punishment of severe reprimand.

Five ASPs were also awarded the punishment of severe reprimand.

Thirteen officers received the punishment of reprimand; two are to receive letters of warning while four officers were exonerated.

Ani quoted Justice Ogunbiyi as saying the commission would henceforth give the desired attention to Pending Disciplinary Matters so that those found guilty are punished immediately while those found not guilty are cleared to continue with their career progression.

Justice Ogunbiyi called on police officers to ensure they operate within established rules and avoid taking laws into their hands.

The commission, she said, would continue to work to sustain a professional police force.

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