Nigeria: Inflation – How True Is Keyamo’s Claim On Nigeria Doing Better Than U.S., Canada, Others?

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said that Nigeria is doing better than major countries in the world in terms of the percentage of rise in inflation rate.

Keyamo, while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today said Nigeria fared better than the United States of America, Canada, Russia, Spain and others in the way inflation is increasing.

Full Text: The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said Nigeria’s rise in inflation is just 5 per cent increase from 2020 when the world locked down due to COVID-19 pandemic.

He said other countries across the world had their inflation rate increase by a percentage that is higher than that of Nigeria.

“With what we have gone through in the last seven years, Nigeria has done well in a context of the macro global economy of major countries across the world.

“The inflation rate was hovering around 13 per cent in 2020 around the pandemic. Now we are doing 18 per cent. Which is about 5 per cent.

“We are better than major countries around the world like the United States of America, like Canada, like Russia, like Spain, like Germany. Go and fact-check me. I am not saying their inflation is 18 per cent. I am talking about the percentage of increase. In other words, we have tried to keep inflation down more than major countries,” Keyamo said.

VERDICT: In verifying the minister’s claim, Daily Trust found that while the claim on percentage increase is true, his other claim on Nigeria’s inflation rate doing better than countries like the United States is false.

Claim 1: Nigeria’s percentage increase in inflation is less than the US, Canada, others

Verdict: True

Verification: Nigeria’s inflation rate as of January 2020 stood at 12.13%. Inflation rose to 15.75% in December 2020 according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Subsequently, headline inflation rose to 15.63% in December 2021 compared to 15.40% in November of 2021.

Currently, Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 19.64% in July, its highest figure in 17 years, according to the NBS

United States of America

As at December 2020, the United States inflation rate was at 1.4%, up from 1.2% in the preceding month of November.

Subsequently, a consumer price index, a metric that measures costs across dozens of items, increased by 7% as at December 2021, according to the US Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Currently, the annual inflation rate of the United States reached 9.1% in June, the highest rate in almost 41 years.

Canada

Canada’s consumer price inflation decelerated to an annual rate of 0.7% in December 2020 from 1.0 in November 2020.

It later moved to 4.8% at the end of 2021 (December 2021).

However, the inflation in Canada as of June 2022 was 8.1%, according to World Bank data.

Germany

In Germany, the annual inflation rate as of December 2020 was 0.51%.

The figure later increased to 3.14% at the end of December 2021.

As at July 2022, the inflation rate in Germany stood at 7.5%, according to the German apex statistics body.

Spain

According to Statista, as at the end of December 2020, Spain’s inflation rate stood at -0.32%, a 1.02% decline from 2019.

The inflation figures further moved to 3.1% at the end of December 2021.

However, Consumer prices rose by 10.8% on an annual basis in July, up from 10.2% in June and the fastest rate since September 1984, Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) said in a statement.

Like most of its European neighbours, Spain is battling an unprecedented surge in inflation as economic fallout from the war in Ukraine and the reopening of economies after the coronavirus lockdowns.

Russia

In Russia, the inflation rate at the end of 2020 stood at 3.38%. It later rose to 6.7% at the end of 2021.

The latest figures from the Russian statistics body showed that the inflation rate has now skyrocketed to 15.9% as of July 2022.

This may not be unconnected to the current Russia-Ukraine war which has caused devastating damage to different economies around the globe.

Conclusion: Following verification from figures by the World Bank and the statistics authorities of the aforementioned countries, Daily Trust found that the percentage rise in inflation rate in Nigeria is relatively low compared to countries under review, as such, the claim by Mr Keyamo is TRUE.

Claim 2: Nigeria is doing better in inflation compared to the US, Canada, and others

Verdict: FALSE

Verification: In verifying the claim, Daily Trust sought to find out the inflationary figures of these countries and the implications.

What is Inflation?

In economics, inflation is a general increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation corresponds to a reduction in the purchasing power of money

Consequently, most of the countries mentioned by Keyamo have single-digit inflation except for Russia and Spain which have double-digit inflation.

Therefore, an economy with single-digit inflation will naturally do better than one with double-digit inflation as in the case of Nigeria.

With the headline and food inflation on the rise, it automatically translates to higher cost of items and services which further suggests low purchasing power for low and middle-income earners as currently witnessed in Nigeria.

Conclusion: Verification by Daily Trust shows that the Nigeria’s inflation figures at double digits is having significant effect on the economy compared to other countries listed by Mr. Keyamo whose figures are still at single digits, as such, the claim is FALSE.

This Fact Check was produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).

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