The Presidency has said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government should not be blamed for Nigeria’s inflation rate, which has reached all time high of 22.2% in April 2023.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, the Presidential spokesman, the inflation being experienced in Nigeria is a worldwide problem which no nation is immune to following the global economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presidential assertion came as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a report disclosed that most sub-Saharan African currencies had weakened against the United States dollar. IMF the situation fanned inflationary pressures across the continent as import prices surged.
The presidency cited statistics from nations across the world to back its claim that the current rising inflation was a global concern worsened by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago and the Russia/Ukraine war.
Shehu, while alluding to the fact that Nigeria’s current 22 per cent inflation rate was high and worrisome, however, submitted that the Buhari administration was taking serious steps to stem the global cost of living crisis.
“In one of its highest fallacies, is tying the rise of inflation to its 17-year high to the person of the president, Muhammadu Buhari, who leaves office in exactly two weeks from this day.
“Anybody who promotes this kind of thinking is telling the whole world that they either don’t know what is happening all over the world or they are not paying attention to the facts.
“This stubbornly high inflation is a world-wide problem and no nation is immune to it since the global economic downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Inflation was boosted everywhere by the COVID-19 lockdowns with severe impact on national economies due to the dislocation of manufacturing and supply chains.
“This is what led to fewer goods and the rises in prices of those goods reaching the market.”
The presidency added, “Considering that Nigeria relies heavily on imports for essential products like petroleum, cooking oils, fertilisers, crop chemicals, and others, international price fluctuations significantly impact local prices. The government, unless it chooses to disregard the principles of free trade, has limited maneuverability in this regard.
“France, which enjoyed a stable average inflationary regime of 4.1 per cent from 1960-2022 is today reporting price increases of up to 1,080.36 per cent.
“At 10.1 per cent, UK inflation is at a 41-year high. Ghana’s inflation rate had hit a two-decades high of 54.1 per cent before a recent decrease.
“Turkey’s rate is 45 per cent, Pakistan has also reported an alarming high inflation rate comparable to countries with similar profiles.
“The war in Ukraine meant a rocketing in foodstuff prices leading to fear of famine in many countries, never mind inflation!
“While Nigeria’s reported inflation rate of 22 per cent is undoubtedly high and worrisome, it would be incorrect to suggest that the Buhari administration is not making efforts to address the volatile global cost of living crisis.
“President Buhari has consistently prioritised efforts to control inflation and continues to do so.”