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Petrol crisis may affect inflation rate, says statistician-general

petrol scarcity petrol scarcity

Simon Harry, the statistician-general of the federation, says the petrol crisis experienced across Nigeria may have an adverse effect on the inflation rate.

The consumer price index, which measures the rate of increase in the price of goods and services, increased to 15.60 percent year-on-year in January 2022.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, Harry said the prevalent scarcity, caused by the importation of off-spec petrol, could create an artificial shock in the economy.

“Whether we like it or not, transporters will be taking advantage of the situation, thereby increasing the costs of transportation,” he said. 

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“As you are bringing your commodities to the market for sale, you will be thinking of adding some amount on the selling costs so that you will be able to recover the costs of transportation.

“So that gives us a negative signal that is capable of affecting not just inflation rate, but also other macro-economic variables such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and even the unemployment rate.

“I can, however, assure you that certainly, it is not the best for the economy and if we must maintain a stable macroeconomic environment, this kind of crisis certainly is not the best for it is not needed.”

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Harry said because the economy is strongly driven by the private sector, the shock may affect a good number of private businesses as they may not be able to run effectively as expected.

He noted that the February inflation rate could not be predicted based on the present fuel crisis as the figures were still being collected.

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