INFLATION REPORT, OTHERS DELAYED BY LOCKDOWN –INVESTIGATION
About 10 economic reports that were scheduled to be released by the National Bureau of Statistics are being affected by the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, investigation has shown. The outbreak of the deadly virus in Nigeria had led to lockdown of many states, a development that has paralysed economic activities.
So far, the very visible impact of the pandemic has been huge, especially in relation to government finances, capital flow reversals and loss of income to businesses and households. Findings by our correspondent on Monday in Abuja revealed that the economic reports which would have shown how some aspects of the economy performed in the last one month could not be released due to the lockdown.
Some of the reports due for release are the Consumer Price Index report which would have showed the level of inflation for the month of March. Based on the data release calendar, the CPI was scheduled to have been released on April 15. The NBS had last month stated that the CPI, which measures inflation, rose by 12.20 per cent year on year in February.
The inflation rate of 12.2 per cent, according to the bureau, is 0.07 percentage points higher than the 12.13 per cent recorded in January. The 12.2 per cent index is also the highest recorded by the economy in the last 21 months Also scheduled to be released is the full year 2019 Air Transportation Data report. The report showed the number of aircraft and passengers that passed through the nation’s airport during a period of time.
The lockdown, according to findings, has delayed the release of other key reports such as the Oil and Gas Production Report for 2019; Premium Motor Spirit Price Watch for the month of March; and Automative Gas price watch for the month of March. These reports according to the NBS were scheduled to have been released on April 16 and 17.
Also yet to be released as a result of the lockdown are the reports for Transport Fare Watch for the month of March; Federation Account Allocation Committee showing disbursements made in the month of March; and selected food prices for the month of March. Attempts to get comments from the Statistician General for the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, were not successful as calls made to his mobile phone did not connect.