President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed into law the Finance Bill 2019 (now Finance Act), which among other objectives, seeks to increase government revenue while supporting struggling small businesses in Africa’s largest economy.

Inflation in Nigeria rose to a 19-month high in December, as prices continued to rise many months after the country closed its borders with its neighbours.

Annual inflation rose to 11.98 per cent in December 2019 from 11.85 per cent in November 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

Nigeria has seen rising inflation since June 2018. Nigeria closed its borders in September to check smuggling. This has driven prices up.

According to NBS, the composite food index rose by 14.67 per cent in December 2019 compared to 14.48 per cent in November 2019.

“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Meat, Fish, Oils and fats, Potatoes, yam, and other tubers,” it said.

“On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.97 per cent in December 2019, down by 0.28 per cent points from 1.25 per cent recorded in November 2019.”

The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending December 2019 over the previous twelve-month average was 13.74 per cent, 0.09 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2019 (13.65) per cent,” it said.

In December 2019, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Sokoto, Ogun, and Plateau, while Bayelsa, Delta, and Bauchi recorded the slowest rise.

However, when compared to the previous month, food inflation was highest in Kogi, Kaduna, and Abia states.

Delta, Edo, Imo, and Kwara states recorded price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of food or a negative food inflation rate).

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