Friday, 24 May 2024 04:51

Nigerians face rising hunger as food prices soar, reports NBS

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Amid increasing poverty and hunger, Nigerians are grappling with skyrocketing prices of essential food items such as beef, rice, beans, white garri, and yam. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed these alarming trends in its latest report titled ‘Selected Food Prices Watch (April 2024).’

The report highlights significant month-on-month and year-on-year price increases. In April, the average price of 1 kilogram (kg) of local rice reached N1,399.34, reflecting a 3.47 percent increase from March and a staggering 155.93 percent rise from April 2023, when the price was N546.76.

Similarly, the average price of 1kg of white garri soared by 134.98 percent year-on-year, from N362.50 in April 2023 to N851.81 in April 2024. On a month-on-month basis, its price increased by 13.59 percent from N749.89 in March 2024.

Tomato prices also surged, with 1kg costing N1,123.41 in April 2024, a 131.58 percent increase from N485.10 in April 2023. From March to April 2024, the price jumped by 17.06 percent from N959.68.

The price of 1kg of brown beans saw a year-on-year increase of 125.43 percent, climbing from N615.67 in April 2023 to N1,387.90 in April 2024. Month-on-month, the price rose by 12.44 percent.

Yam prices did not escape the trend, with the average price of 1kg rising by 5.76 percent in April to N1,130.37, compared to N1,068.78 in March. Year-on-year, yam prices surged by 154.19 percent from N444.69 in April 2023 to N1,130.37 in April 2024.

The NBS report also detailed the variation in food prices across different states and geopolitical zones. Niger recorded the highest average price for 1kg of local rice at N1,785.47, while Benue had the lowest at N993.72. Bayelsa had the highest price for 1kg of white garri at N1,095.26, while Benue again had the lowest at N494.47. Delta state reported the highest price for 1kg of tomatoes at N1,851.19, with Zamfara recording the lowest at N547.22. The highest price for 1kg of brown beans was in Abuja at N2,288.36, and the lowest was in Yobe at N818.03.

Geopolitically, the south-west and south-south regions bore the brunt of high food prices. The south-west had the highest average price for 1kg of local rice at N1,615.21, followed by the south-south at N1,564.85. The north-west recorded the lowest prices for rice, garri, and tomatoes. For beans, the north-central and south-south regions had the highest prices.

The NBS’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April indicated that food inflation soared to 40.53 percent, a significant increase from the 24.61 percent reported in April 2023.

These rising food costs are exacerbating the struggle for many Nigerians already facing severe economic hardships, leading to increasing poverty and hunger across the nation.

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