Nigerians are to pay even more for consumer goods in the coming weeks, following an increase of about 10% over the last six months, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the first half of 2015 as published Wednesday by SB Morgen.
The new raise will put more strain on the average Nigerian worker who is already spending about 60% of his earnings on feeding.
SB Morgen provides market intelligence and strategic communication services required for bridging the gap between African emerging market opportunities and investors from around the world.
The CPI reveals that both locally produced consumer goods and the imported goods have maintained fairly unstable prices over the last six months.
A rise will no doubt put more pressure on the average Nigerian worker who is already grappling with other social challenges as irregular salaries, fluctuating pump price and availability of petroleum products, insufficient power, etc.
“Living standards are expected to drop further with the upsurge in the price of consumables at a time when the average Nigerian is least empowered socially and financially to overcome the challenge posed by rising food and commodities price,” said Mr. Chinedu Ozordi, a director with SB Morgen.
The research, according to Mr. Ozordi, revealed that from a sample of 500 workers, 18 out of 20 workers who fall under the minimum wage category of N18, 500, spend almost 60% of their annual income on feeding, 20% on transportation and the other 20% on miscellaneous expenditure, leaving them with no savings.
According to the report, perishables, staples and edible consumables like tomatoes, pepper, yams, etc. recorded an average increase of 10% in price due to factors such as seasonal changes, increased production and handling costs and the weaker foreign exchange rates, prolonged period of fuel scarcity, etc. Household and personal hygiene products such as detergents, toiletries and cooking gas recorded minimal increase in prices as well.
“The average Nigerian is presently not well placed financially to cope with the rapidly increasing price of commodities,” stated the report. “This is due to the fact that the Public Service (the major employer of labour in the country), which is responsible for the source of income for a majority of the country’s workforce, has been bedevilled by serious cash flow problems thereby affecting the wages of their workforce. As a matter of fact, over 10 of the 36 states of the federation presently owe their workers at least 2 months wages, with others meeting their wage obligations beyond due dates. This in itself poses a serious challenge as the average Nigerian not only faces the challenge of increasing prices, but also a scarcity of funds to meet up the daily spending requirements.”
SB Morgen concluded its report by urging the federal, state and local governments to play their part in curtailing the persistent rise in consumer commodities to where they have reasonable control over, for example by encouraging small scale farming across the nation.
However, the firm warned that such interventions should not jeopardize vital food supplies and thus exacerbate the situation.