The latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed a distressing surge in food prices, particularly impacting residents in Kogi, Kwara, and Lagos states, as inflation peaked at 27.33% in October.
According to the NBS data, food inflation soared to alarming levels, with Kogi State experiencing an unprecedented 41.74% rise in food prices.
Following closely, Kwara recorded a staggering 38.48% increase, while Lagos ranked third with food prices surging by 37.37%.
In contrast, Borno, Kebbi, and Jigawa saw relatively slower rises in food inflation, ranging from 24.41% to 25.10%.
The spike in food prices significantly contributed to the overall inflation rate, marking the 10th consecutive monthly increase in 2023.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages notably contributed 14.16% to the overall inflation surge, underscoring the substantial impact of food price hikes on the economy.
Factors driving the surge included substantial increases in the prices of essential items such as bread, cereals, oils, tubers, fish, fruits, meats, vegetables, and dairy products, as outlined by the NBS.
The financial strain on consumers is evident, with a recent SBM Intelligence survey highlighting that Nigerians are allocating a substantial 97% of their monthly income toward food expenses.
This strain is notably higher for residents in Kogi, Kwara, and Lagos due to the escalated food prices in October.
Beyond food, the breakdown of contributors to the inflation index includes housing, utilities, clothing, transport, education, health, and other goods and services, reflecting the multifaceted impact on the overall cost of living.
Analyzing the month-on-month variations, Yobe, Sokoto, and Jigawa reported the highest increases in food inflation for October 2023, while Edo, Katsina, and Rivers showed comparatively slower rises during the same period.
The continual rise in food prices amplifies the urgent need for measures to address inflationary pressures and alleviate the financial burdens faced by consumers grappling with soaring living costs.