The deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, which resulted into an increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit from N87 to N145 per litre has pushed the country’s inflation rate to an 80-month high of 15.6 per cent.
The National Bureau of Statistics explained in the Consumer Price Index report, which was released on Tuesday that the rate of inflation rose by 1.9 percentage points from 13.7 per cent in April to 15.6 per cent in May.
The last time Nigeria recorded an inflation rate as high as the 15.6 per cent recorded in May this year was in September 2009 when it was put at 15.86 per cent by the NBS.
Since then, the country had been experiencing a downward trend in the rate before a sudden spike in the last five months.
The NBS said the increase in the inflation rate in May when compared to what was recorded in April was an indication of an overall rise in general price level across the economy as all divisions that contributed to the Headline index growing at a faster pace
For instance, the NBS report stated that in May, the highest increases were seen in road transport, kerosene, fuels and lubricants, and vehicle spare parts.
The report read in part. “In May, the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, recorded a relatively strong increase for the fourth consecutive month. The Headline index increased by 15.6 per cent year-on-year, 1.9 per cent points higher from rates recorded in April at 13.7 per cent.
“Year-on-year, electricity rates as well as other energy prices continue to manifest as key drivers of the core component of the CPI.
“During the month, the highest increases were seen in the passenger transport by road, liquid fuel (kerosene), fuel and lubricants for personal transport equipment (Premium Motor Spirit) and vehicle spare parts groups.”
The NBS also stated that imported foods as well as a drawdown of inventories across the country continued to push food prices higher.
For instance, it noted that the food sub index increased by 14.9 per cent in May, up by 1.7 per cent points from rates recorded in April, noting that this was driven by higher prices of fish, bread, cereals and vegetables.
In terms of the urban and rural indices, the report stated that both recorded marked increases for the fourth consecutive month in May.
“The urban index rose by roughly 2.1 percentage points from 15.1 per cent to 17.1 per cent, while the rural index increased by 1.6 percentage points from 12.8 per cent in April to 14.3 per cent in May,” it added.
Meanwhile, the NBS in the PMS price watch for the month of May, which was also released on Tuesday, put the average price at which Nigerians bought the product at N150.28 per litre.