Closed border, not funded basic crop farmers spike Nigeria’s inflation to four month high

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Ivorian farmers carry cotton balls, on December 5, 2015 in the village of Kanawolo near the northern city of Korhogo. Ivory Coast cotton output rose 11 percent to a record 450,000 tonnes in the 2014/2015 tonnes compared with the previous season on the back of favourable weather and more farmers, an executive of the cotton ginners association said on May 27, 2015. / AFP PHOTO / Issouf SANOGO

Nigeria inflation rate increased, for the fourth straight month, to 11.98 percent in December of 2019 from 11.85 percent in the previous month.

The November rate was the highest rate since May 2018.

National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday that consumer prices rose 12% from a year earlier, compared with 11.9% as at November. Costs rose 0.85% in the December.

Also, food-price rate increased to 14.7% in December from 14.5% in the previous month.

The continued surge in food prices may not be unrelated to the shut down of the country’s land borders in August to curb smuggling of goods, especially rice, into Nigeria, and illegal export of petroleum products out of the country.

Nigeria also ban supply of petrol to filling stations within 20 kilometre radius of its borders to stifle smuggling.

Although, central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said in November the impact of the border closures on inflation is temporary.

Nigeria and the affected countries, Niger and Benin, also agreed to establish a joint border police to check the influx of foreign goods into West Africa’s largest market.

The three countries said in a joint communique in Abuja in November that the joint patrol team will comprise “the police, customs, immigration, navy and state security services of the three countries.”

The border closure is hurting the economies of Nigeria’s neighbours, which serves as transit countries for some of the goods meant for the Nigerian market.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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