Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that inflation increased to 12.56 percent year-on-year in June 2020 indicating a 0.16% points higher than the rate of 12.4% recorded in May 2020. The report said that composite food index rose to 15.18% compared to 15.04% recorded in May 2020 while Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce that stood at 10.13% in June 2020 compared to 10.12% recorded in May 2020. On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.48% in June this year, up by 0.06% points from 1.42% recorded in May 2020. The NBS said the rise in the food index was as a result of increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fruits, oils and fats, meat, fish and vegetables. The ”All items less farm produce” or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, according to the report, stood at 10.13% in June 2020, up by 0.01% when compared with 10.12% recorded in May 2020. The core sub-index increased by 0.86% in June 2020 on a month-on-month basis,. This was down by 0.02% when compared with 0.88% increase recorded in May 2020. The highest increases were recorded in prices of medical services, hospital services, passenger transport by road, pharmaceutical products, motor cars, paramedical services, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, Bicycles, Motorcycles, Vehicle spare parts and Other services in respect of personal transport equipment. The highest inflation in the period under review on year on year basis was recorded in Bauchi with 15.02%, followed by Sokoto state, 14.88%, Ebonyi 14.6%. Others include Plateau 14.49% and Taraba state 13.95%. On the flip side, Kwara state (10.03%) recorded the least all items inflation rate (year-on-year) followed by Lagos (10.78%). Others on the list include; Cross River (10.95%), Abuja (11.02%) and Borno (11.11%). In terms of food inflation on a year on year basis, Sokoto state (17.88%) recorded the highest followed by Plateau (17.04%) and Abuja (16.82%), while Bauchi (12.86%), Ogun (13.18%), and Lagos (13.46%) recorded the slowest rise.
Cameroon’s Ministry of Commerce has said that 803,505 tons of rice were imported into the country in 2019. This is the first time such volume would be recorded, according to trade minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana during his note addressed on 6 July 2020, to the president of the Rice Importers Group in Cameroon. He added that in the period under review, these rice imports largely exceeded national demand, which is estimated at only 576,949 tons by the Ministry of Agriculture for the current 2020 year. Assuming that national demand was the same in 2019, as it is for 2020, this means that the imports exceeded demands by about 367,266 tons, considering that the projected national production of 140,710 tons in 2020 is consumed locally, a large part of this production is exported to Nigeria. Going by the sharp increase, the persistence of networks that re-export rice from Cameroon into neighbouring countries where operators deem prices to be better than those offered in the local market. This re-exportation scheme gained momentum between 2014 and 2016 when Nigerian authorities hiked rice import tax to 110% to encourage local production. The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria Exporters from importers turned to Benin and Cameroon to buy rice that they smuggle into their country, after the measure placed by the Nigerian government and taking advantage of the tax exemption on rice in Cameroon since the hunger riots of February 2008 (tax restored in 2016). Between 2015 and 2018, Cameroon’s rice imports amounted to CFAF 652.6 billion, an average of CFAF 163 billion each year as the staple is the most imported foodstuff in the country.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria said the unsold inventory of locally manufactured goods declined by ₦23.73 billion. This is despite the border closure put in place by the country’s government to check smuggling and other crimes around borders with neighbouring countries. The inventory reduced marginally because consumers now patronise made-in-Nigeria goods, according to the report. The FG had in August 2019, enforced closure of the country’s land borders following a spike in smuggling activities, and further extended it to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. MAN said the closure of land borders within the ECOWAS regions forced many Nigerians to buy local substitutes as the import of foreign products became restricted. The data from MAN said that in the second half of 2019, inventory of unsold finished manufactured goods dropped marginally in the sector to at ₦202.16 billion, down by ₦23.73 billion, a 10.5 percent when compared with ₦225.89 billion recorded in the corresponding half of 2018. It, however, increased by ₦1.9 billion, 0.9 percent, when compared with ₦200.26 billion recorded in the first half of 2019. Inventory of unsold finished goods in the sector totalled ₦402.42 billion in 2019 and ₦375.42 billion in 2018. The report further said that industrial zones such as Ikeja zone recorded the highest inventory of unsold manufactured finished goods of 30.7 percent in the period, followed by Ogun with 26.2 percent and Apapa zone with 21.2 percent. According to the Acting DG of MAN, Ambrose Oruche, basic metal, iron & steel fabricated metal group amongst others recorded the highest inventory within the period.
Up to 20 soldiers have been killed in an ambush by armed bandits in Katsina State. The contingent of troops, who were a part of Operation Sahel Sanity, was on a mission to clear a terrorist camp in Shimfida village In Jibia LGA of Katsina State was ambushed on Saturday. Three young officers – a major, lieutenant and second lieutenant were killed alongside 17 soldiers, while several others were injured in the operation, according to multiple sources. The incident occurred shortly after a bomb exploded and killed at least 5 children near a farm in Malumfashi area of the state on Saturday. Kastina State has experienced a series of attacks with over 300 deaths this year alone usually by suspected bandits.