Inflation for ‘dummies’: This is everything you need to know

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics released its consumer price index (CPI) report for the month of April and its contents weren’t much of a surprise to Nigerians as any careful observer would have noticed the steady increase of  consumer goods and products over time.

Show me inflation:

A report isn’t necessary to tell Nigerians that inflation is on the high, just take a quick trip to any social media platform and you’ll most definitely see a post like this:

Or this

But of course we have an excuse for tomatoes, there’s a disease affecting it and it’s called ‘Tuta Absoluta’ -but because we are not all tongue twisters- the disease has a local nickname – tomato Ebola.

On the other hand, we don’t have an excuse for this:

Biko, what is inflation (without too much oyibo)?

For the sake of clarity, inflation is a steady rise in the cost of goods and services which results in a substantial decrease in the number of products purchased by any currency unit.

And because we live in a country where inflation is measured by the cost of tomato, a bag of rice, and a cup of garri – inflation is usually equated with the rise in the cost of food stuff, thus making them the easiest means of detecting inflation.

Example: As at last month, at least 10 pieces of tomatoes would have been bought by N200, but presently N200 buys less than that.

So now you get it.

So what about the CPI report?

According to the CPI report, inflation grew from 11.4 percent in February to 12.8 in the month of March to 13.7 in April -a 1.4 percent and 0.9 percent leap from the months preceding the respective months. Obviously, Nigeria is witnessing her highest inflation in six years.

In fact, the year 2016 saw Nigeria’s inflation rate hit a double digit in February. Before then the inflation rate in the country had dangle between 9.0 % in January, 2015 to 9.6% in January, 2016.

Causes of the inflation

The fast rate at which inflation is growing is caused substantially by the rapid increase in the cost of petroleum, higher cost of electricity with a parallel decrease in power generation, difficulty in acquiring petroleum products, amongst several problems that the country is facing.

Additionally, there’s the difficulty in sourcing for foreign exchange by importers and a huge marginal difference between the dollar and naira.

All these have resulted in the worst inflation to hit Africa’s supposed ‘largest economy’.

And we are apparently just getting started.

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