New Telegraph

FDC predicts 17.2% inflation rate for February

Nigeria’s inflation maintained its upward trend and is likely hit 17.2 per cent in February 2021, from 16.47 per cent in the previous month, analysts at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) have said. The analysts, who made the prediction in a report obtained by New Telegraph yesterday, also forecast that food inflation increased to 21.89 per cent last month from 20.9 per cent in January. However, they noted that, global food prices were rising faster than inflation.

The analysts stated: “Prices of commodities with high import content trending higher on currency pressures; logistics cost to also keep commodity prices elevated.” According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, Nigeria’s inflation rose for the 17th consecutive month to hit 16. 47 per cent in January 2021-the highest level in the last three years- while at 20.9 per cent, food inflation was at its highest since July 2008.

Recently released personal statements of members of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), at the committee’s meeting in January, show that one of them, Prof. Mike Obadan, believes that the activities of market unions and associations in the country are one of the key drivers of the nation’s soaring inflation rate. Obadan accused the market unions of hiking prices “with impunity, such that even when there are no shortages of supplies, they still succeed in setting prices that do not reflect market conditions.”

He stated: “One factor that has so far not been adequately acknowledged is the obnoxious role of market unions and associations in hiking the prices of foodstuffs in the markets. These associations perpetuate monopoly and oligopoly practices in the markets, especially in the Southern part of the country, and hike prices with impunity, such that even when there are no shortages of supplies, they still succeed in set-

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