Nigeria’s annual inflation hits 33.95%, highest in 28 years

Nigeria’s annual inflation soared to a new 28-year high of 33.95% in May, according to official data released on Saturday. This marks the 18th consecutive month of rising inflation, up from 33.69% in the previous month.

The spike in prices has been driven by President Bola Tinubu’s economic reforms, which include cutting subsidies on petrol and electricity and devaluing the naira currency twice in the past year.

These reforms have sparked public outcry, with labor unions suspending a strike over demands for a new minimum wage. Critics argue that these measures disproportionately impact the poor, exacerbating what is now Nigeria’s worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals that food and non-alcoholic beverages were the primary contributors to inflation in May. Food inflation rose to 40.66%, up from 40.53% the previous month, underscoring the severe impact on household budgets.

Analysts attribute the persistently high inflation to elevated food prices and the depreciation of the naira.

In response to the inflationary pressures, the central bank has raised interest rates three times this year. Governor Olayemi Cardoso has indicated that rates will remain elevated as long as necessary to stabilize inflation.

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