Nigerian Cost of Healthy Diet Sees Marginal Increase in May 2024

By Ajibola Olaide, JKNMedia Reporter

IN ITS RECENT report released in June 2024, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) highlights a marginal increase in the National average Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) in Nigeria, showing the cost per adult per day for maintaining a healthy diet was recorded at N1,041 in May 2024, reflecting a 1% rise from N1,035 in April 2024.

This slight increase signifies the pliability and adaptability of the Nigerian market in maintaining relative affordability for healthy diets amidst economic challenges, noting that despite the ongoing inflationary pressures, the rise in CoHD was moderate compared to previous months.

The report also provides a breakdown of the CoHD at the zonal and state levels, showcasing regional variations.

The South East zone recorded the highest CoHD at N1,189 per day, followed by the South West zone at N1,160 per day. The North West zone reported the lowest average CoHD at N919 per day, revealing that this regional analysis stresses the diverse economic landscapes across Nigeria and the varying accessibility to nutritious food.

At the state level, Ebonyi, Abia, and Anambra recorded the highest CoHD with N1,225, N1,215, and N1,205 respectively, while in contrast, Kano had the lowest CoHD at N898, followed by Jigawa at N899, and Yobe and Katsina at N906.

NBS, in the report further delves into the cost distribution by food group., showing that animal source foods emerged as the most expensive, accounting for 36% of the total CoHD while providing 13% of the total calories.

Fruits and vegetables, though crucial for a balanced diet, were the most expensive per calorie, contributing 11% and 12% respectively to the total CoHD but providing only 7% and 5% of the total calories.

On the other hand, legumes, nuts, and seeds were identified as the least expensive food group, contributing just 7% to the total cost .

In the report, a steady increase in the CoHD over the past six months was highlighted, with a 32% rise from N786 in December 2023 to N1,041 in May 2024, noting that the main contributors to this increase were starchy staples, legumes, nuts, seeds, and animal source foods.

Notably, vegetables and fruits saw the smallest price increase on a month-to-month basis.

However, despite the rising costs, the moderate increase in CoHD for May 2024 reflects a stable economic environment where healthy diets remain relatively accessible as this trend affirms the importance of continued efforts to monitor and manage food prices, ensuring that all Nigerians have access to nutritious diets.

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