The National Bureau of Statistics reports that this marks the eleventh increase in inflation throughout 2023, with a notable 6.68% surge from January to November. From skyrocketing food prices to doubled transportation costs, the impact is widespread.

The surge, fueled by factors like fuel subsidy removal and forex rate fluctuations introduced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s policies in June, has led to a significant spike in living expenses. Basic commodities like rice and vegetable oil have witnessed substantial price hikes, affecting the purchasing power of the Naira. Despite assurances from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the persistent scarcity of banknotes compounds the challenges faced by Nigerians.

Experts weigh in, emphasizing the far-reaching consequences of soaring inflation. Professor Godwin Oyedokun notes that the rising cost of living may limit Nigerians’ ability to fully engage in festive celebrations, impacting essentials like food, clothing, and transportation. Small businesses, already grappling with higher costs, may struggle to offer discounts or quality products during the yuletide.

Amid concerns, CEO of SD & D Capital Management, Mr. Idakolo Gbolade, attributes the rising inflation to pressure on the Naira against the US Dollar, predicting financial strain on Nigerians during the festive season. Former president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, expresses skepticism about the accuracy of inflation data and urges caution against following World Bank recommendations on fuel price hikes.

President of the Bank Customers’ Association of Nigeria, Dr. Uju Ogunbunka, highlights the dependence on imported goods as a key factor in the inflationary trend. Meanwhile, former President and Chairman of the Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers, Prof Segun Ajibola, remains pessimistic, stating that Nigeria’s inflation is not demand-induced, and monetary measures might have limited efficacy.

In essence, as Nigerians navigate the festive season, the shadow of inflation casts a pall over the joyous celebrations, impacting both individuals and businesses alike.

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