Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the sustained upward trend in the general price level in recent times has had significant but “bothersome impacts” on the household and business sectors in the country.
The assertion is contained in a press statement signed by the organization’s Director General, Dr Chinyere Almona.
“Apart from eroding purchasing power, it has led to inventory stockpiles. If left unchecked, the high inflation may further constrain production, lead to a steeper rise in poverty figures, frustrate economic growth, and lead to higher unemployment and non-competitive exports, especially in the sub-region. These are not statistics that should be staring at the country in the near term” the statement said.
LCCI, Almona said is concerned about the excessive focus on exchange and interest rates management.
“Unfortunately, this is at the expense of inflation. There is an urgent need for monetary and fiscal authorities to find an effective mix of measures and policies to thwart the worrisome trend in inflation, especially staple food prices” she added.
LCCI recalled that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as at end-February, 2023 was 21.91% against 21.82%, in January, according to the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Consequently, inflation has inched upwards by 0.09 percentage points in the period.
With a 21.67% rise, food prices led the contributors to this unwholesome position, while meat (4.78%) contributed the least. The rise in food prices was largely attributable to increases in the prices of yams, potatoes, other tubers, fish, cereals, bread, meat, vegetables, fat, and oil.
However, core inflation dropped to 18.84% (YoY) in February from 19.16% recorded in January.