Food Prices Skyrocket as NBS March 2024 Report Reveals

By Joke Kujenya

THE latest findings from the March 2024 edition of the National Bureau of Statistics Selected Food Price Watch have revealed staggering increases in the prices of essential food items across Nigeria.

According to the report, the average price of 1kg of locally sold loose rice surged to N1,349.74, marking a significant 152.93% increase compared to same period last year, when it was recorded at N530.08.

Additionally, there was a month-on-month increase of 9.63% from February 2024.

Similarly, the average price of 1kg of boneless beef saw a notable rise, climbing by 73.78% year-on-year from N2,479.61 in March 2023 to N4,309.16 in March 2024.

On a monthly basis, this item witnessed a 17.91% increase from N3,654.56 in February 2024.

The price of 1kg of brown beans (sold loose) also experienced a sharp increase of 106.78% year-on-year, reaching N1,234.40 in March 2024 from N596.96 in March 2023, with a 4.79% increase from the previous month.

Moreover, the NBS report highlighted significant hikes in the prices of other staple foods. The average price of 1kg of white garri surged by 112.34% year-on-year to N749.89 in March 2024 from N353.16 in March 2023, with a 3.66% increase from the previous month.

Additionally, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber rose by 141.25% year-on-year, reaching N1,068.78 in March 2024 from N443.02 in March 2023, and experiencing a 5.87% increase from February 2024.

State-wise analysis revealed significant disparities in food prices across Nigeria. For instance, Niger State recorded the highest average price of 1kg of locally sold loose rice at N1,699.98, whereas Benue State reported the lowest at N985.83.

Similarly, Kwara State recorded the highest average price of 1kg of boneless beef at N5,500.00, with Benue State reporting the lowest at N3,400.22.

The report also outlined regional variations in food prices. The South-west region recorded the highest average price of 1kg of locally sold loose rice at N1,526.95, followed by the South-South at N1,469.39, while the North-west rec0rded the lowest at N1,104.96.

The South-south and South-east regions reported the highest average prices of 1kg of boneless beef at N5,057.89 and N4,877.51, respectively, with the North-west reporting the lowest at N3,577.50.

Fieldwork for the report was conducted by over 700 NBS staff across all the states of the federation, supported by supervisors and monitored by internal and external observers.

Prices were collected from 10,000 respondents and locations, covering all 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was calculated based on household consumption expenditure and actual prices of goods and services collected from the field.

Random verification of prices, the NBS further notes, recorded was subsequently conducted by another set of NBS audit team, adding that the report underscores the significant challenges posed by rising food prices and as well highlighting the urgent need for measures to address food insecurity in order to ensure access to affordable food for all Nigerians.

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