By Alexis Akwagyiram
LAGOS – Annual inflation in Nigeria rose to a near six-year high of 13.7 percent in April, in part due to rising petrol and electricity prices, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.
Africa’s biggest economy is facing its worst crisis in decades, driven by a sharp drop in crude prices that has slashed government revenues and weakened the naira currency. Gross domestic product growth was just 2.8 percent last year, its lowest rate in decades.
NBS said the higher inflation rate in April reflected increases across all sectors, with petrol prices and electricity tariffs major factors.
March inflation was 12.8 percent.
Food prices, which account for the bulk of the inflation basket, rose 13.2 percent in April, up 0.4 percentage points from March, the bureau said on its website.
Inflation has also been fuelled by pressure on the naira, which on Monday slipped to its weakest level in months against the dollar in the non-deliverable forward market.
Speculation that the central bank will soon devalue the currency – which the bank denied on Sunday – has swirled since the vice president last week said foreign currency policies needed to be changed to encourage investment.(Reuters)