The deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry which resulted into an increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit from N87 to N145 per litre has pushed the country’s inflation rate to an 80-month high of 15.6 per cent.
The National Bureau of Statistics in the Consumer Price Index report which was released on Tuesday explained that the rate of inflation rose by 1.9 percentage points from 13.7 per cent in April to 15.6 per cent in May.
The last time Nigeria recorded an inflation rate as high as the 15.6 per cent recorded in May this year was in September 2009 when the rate of inflation was put at 15.86 per cent by the NBS.
Since then, the country had been experiencing a downward trend in the rate of inflation before a sudden resurgence within the last five months.
The NBS said the increase in inflation rate in May when compared to what was recorded in April is an indication of an overall rise in general price level across the economy as all divisions which contributed to the Headline index growing at a faster pace
For instance, the NBS report said during the month of May, the highest increases were seen in road transport, kerosene, fuels and lubricants and vehicle spare parts.
The report reads in part. “In May, the Consumer Price Index which measures inflation recorded a relatively strong increase for the fourth consecutive month.
“The Headline index increased by 15.6 per cent year-on-year, 1.9 per cent points higher from rates recorded in April 13.7 per cent.
“Year on year, electricity rates as well as other energy prices continue to manifest as key drivers of the core component of the CPI.
“During the month, the highest increases were seen in the passenger transport by road, liquid fuel (Kerosene), fuel and lubricants for personal transport equipment (premium motor spirit) and vehicle spare parts groups.”
The NBS in the report also said imported foods as well as a drawdown of inventories across the country continue to push food prices higher.
For instance, it noted that the food sub index increased by 14.9 per cent in May, up by 1.7 per cent points from rates recorded in April noting that this was driven by higher food prices in fish, breads, cereals and vegetables.