In the face of escalating prices for essential items, including food, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, has provided assurance to the citizens that the country’s inflation rate is expected to decrease.
For 11 months straight, Nigeria has experienced a continuous increase in inflation, hitting a new peak in December 2023 as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to NBS, Nigeria has witnessed a persistent rise in inflation for 11 consecutive months, reaching a fresh high in December 2023.
In December, the annual inflation rate surged to 28.92%, up from 28.20% in November. This indicates a 0.72% points increase in the headline inflation rate compared to November 2023.
But briefing lawmakers at the sectoral debate on the economy before the House of Representatives, the CBN governor specifically said inflation will reduce to 21%.
Giving an outlook for 2024, he said: “Inflationary pressures are expected to decline in 2024 due to the CBN’s inflationary targeting policy aiming to rein in inflation to 21.4 per cent, aided by improved agricultural productivity and easy global supply chain pressures.
“The Nigerian foreign exchange market is currently facing increased demand pressures causing a continuous decrease in the value of naira.”
In response to concerns, the lower chamber summoned not only Cardoso but also other prominent government officials including the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Abubakar Bagudu; and the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacch Adedeji.
Cardoso clarified that the Central Bank has introduced measures to tackle the ongoing devaluation of the naira. Emphasizing the importance of earning through exports to strengthen the naira, he outlined the CBN’s strategy to foster confidence by ensuring stability in consumer prices and the foreign exchange market.
Expressing optimism, Cardoso believes that the bank’s policy measures will have a positive impact on inflation.