January’s overall inflation rate of 16.5% was the highest since mid-2017, lifted by food inflation which accelerated to 20.6%.
Inflation will “certainly remain elevated over the medium term, and may actually rise in 2021,” says John Ashbourne, emerging markets economist at Fitch Solutions in London. “Until the government abandons its efforts to cut down on food imports, we are unlikely to see a real change.”
President Muhammadu Buhari closed land borders with Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon in August 2019 to prevent food smuggling and encourage local agricultural production.
Food inflation continued to climb with Nigerian farmers unable to keep up with domestic demand. The government partially reopened the borders in December 2020, but trade flows have not returned to normal.
Since September 2020, the government
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In