Nigerians Grapple with Soaring Food Prices: NBS Reports Significant Surge in Staple Food Costs

Nigerians are facing a substantial increase in the prices of essential staple foods, as recent statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveal a concerning surge over the past year. According to the NBS’s food price watch for February 2024, staples like rice, garri, and yam have seen a dramatic rise in costs, significantly impacting households across the nation.

The NBS data highlights a staggering 134.81 percent increase in the price of 1kg of local rice, which soared to N1,222.97 in February 2024 from N520.84 in the same month last year. Similarly, garri, a widely consumed cassava derivative, saw its average price jump to N723.45 from N345.88 in February 2023, marking a 109.16 percent rise. The price of yam also experienced a significant surge, reaching N1009.56, up 131.33 percent from N436.41 in the preceding year.

The month-on-month analysis further reveals the relentless upward trend, with rice, garri, and yam prices increasing by 19.69 percent, 20.44 percent, and 11.93 percent, respectively. This persistent inflationary pressure on basic food items exacerbates the cost of living challenges faced by Nigerian families, many of whom are already under financial strain.

Additionally, the NBS report indicated that the price of 500g of sliced bread, another staple, escalated by 89.48 percent between February 2023 and February 2024, further demonstrating the broad-based nature of the food inflation engulfing the country.

The surge in staple food prices reflects the broader economic challenges confronting Nigeria, including currency depreciation, supply chain disruptions, and various socio-economic factors. As families struggle to adapt to these harsh economic realities, calls for interventions by the government and relevant stakeholders have intensified, with many advocating for policies and measures that can stabilize food prices and ensure accessibility to basic nutritional needs for all Nigerians.

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