Prof. Yemi Kale, Statistician-General and CEO, National Bureau of Statistics

The Nigerian inflation rate accelerated to 12.26 per cent in March, which is the higher 23 months; the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday has shown.

The inflation rate is the measurement of changes in prices of commodities in place within a particular period, especially within a year.

Panic buying and the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the government to lock down some sections of the country, made prices to skyrocket in March.

According to the NBS’ Consumer Price Index report, inflation rose to 12.26 per cent when compared with March 2019, and up from 12.20 per cent in February 2020.

“The lockdown in Abuja. Lagos and Ogun States and various major disruptions in normal economic activity in several States since then started in April 2020 and accordingly would not have any major impact on March 2020 Inflation which this report focuses on,” NBS said.

The composite food index rose by 14.98 per cent in March 2020 compared to 14.90 per cent in February 2020.

In March 2020, all item inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi, Niger, and Kebbi while Lagos, Abuja, and Kwara recorded the slowest rise.

For food inflation, Sokoto, Edo and Ogun recorded the highest while Jigawa, Bauchi and Lagos recorded the lowest.