Nigeria inflation rose to 18.55 percent in December

Annual inflation in Nigeria rose in December to 18.55 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistics released the latest figure on Friday.

It is Nigeria’s highest in more than 11 years and the eleventh straight monthly rise.

The rise from 18.48 percent in November was driven by surges in housing, water and electricity, while a separate food index also rose to 17.39 percent from 17.19 percent in November, the statistics office.

Galloping inflation comes as Africa’s largest economy grapples with its first recession in 25 years, largely caused by the fall in global oil prices since 2014.

Attacks by militants on pipelines in the oil-rich Niger Delta last year also reduced crude output and dollars earned.

Crude oil sales account for 70 percent of government revenue.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month presented a record 7.298 trillion naira ($23.97 billion) budget for 2017 aimed at stimulating growth and pulling the economy out of recession, but economists have questioned whether those targets are achievable.

The President also says the budget will focus on development of infrastructure, especially road and rail and also bring stability in the economy.

The N7.298 trillion budget has an oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel as against $38 in 2016 and has a naira benchmark of 305 per dollar, as against 197 in 2016.

The soaring cost of living in Nigeria, where the United Nations estimates that 70 percent of the population live on a dollar a day, has prompted widespread anger at Buhari’s handling of the economy.

In 2016, the country planned a record 6.06 trillion naira budget but it struggled to fund it.

It now plans to increase the 2016 amount by 20 percent for next year’s budget, to help lift the economy out of recession.

 

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