Despite the worries of the World Bank that inflation has pushed seven million Nigerians into poverty, it is becoming clearer that since the commencement of the activities of non-state actors such as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network, Sunday Igboho, and the South-West security outfit, Amotekun, earlier in the year to flush out AK-47-wielding Fulani herdsmen from the farms and forests of the South, inflation rate has been falling.
Inflation rate for the first time in almost two years came down in April 2021 and it also moderated further in the last month of May 2021, giving signals that southern Nigeria may be experiencing a good harvest season for the first time in about two years, thus showing a remarkable nexus between the activities of the non-state actors, even if largely non-conventional, and the positive impact on the economy.
Before this time Fulani herdsmen, according to reports, were untouchables kidnapping, raping and killing farmers who tried to resist their destructive activities in farms across the country.
Recall that in January 2021, the Governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, issued a quit notice to the Fulani herdsmen in the forests of the State for what he termed their criminality. The presidency via Garba Shehu had condemned the quit notice.
In reply, the Coalition of Oduduwa Elders had said that “the quit notice to herders to leave Ondo forests is one of those steps he had taken to protect the citizenry. So, we ask the Presidency to leave him alone.”
It was also in the same month of January that a quit notice was given to Fulani herdsmen in Oyo State by Sunday Igbohu and co. for various offences ranging from ” kidnappings, attacking communities in the guerrilla style of warfare, killings, burning houses and destroying other property”
It was basically for the same reasons that IPOB formed the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in December 2020, as a reaction to Fulani herders reported destructive grazing on farmlands and committing other crimes against local residents.
Thus, within three to four months of the activities of these bodies including the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) which arrested the Fulani warlord, Iskilu Wakili, farmers of the south are now going to the farms unlike before when Nigerian farms had become a no go area in both the middle-belt and the south. Hence enabling more food production and the moderation of inflation.
As data from NBS showed core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce rose to 13.15 per cent from 12.72 per cent in the review period. On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.24 per cent, the NBS noted. This showcases the fact that improved security in the farms in the south is impacting our situation even thought its not uhuru yet ,as some experts posit.
Thus the Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s body language is emboldening Fulani Jihadist in their continued genocidal attacks on farming communities on whose lands they rear animals.
CHURAC’s National President, Cleric E. Alaowei, stated in a statement that: “It has gotten to the point where the beleaguered communities have to resist them with any means necessary.”
However, according to the World Bank, rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020. This was contained in a release entitled ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery.”
The World Bank report signed by Senior External Affairs Officer for Nigeria, Mansir Nasir, said the Federal Government took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession, adding that it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.
The statement posited that: “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms’, notes that in 2020 the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent).
“Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households. As of April 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60 per cent of the total increase in inflation.”
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) The Consumer Price Index which measures inflation dropped to 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May compared to 18.12 per cent in the preceding month of April.
Apparently the 0.19 decline in the headline index, makes it the second month that the rate had sustained its downward trajectory after 18 months of inflationary pressures on the economy since 2019.
According to the figures released by the NBS food inflation dropped to 22.28 per cent from 22.72 per cent in April. As it disclosed moderations were recorded in the following food categories: bread, cereals, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, soft drinks, coffee, tea and cocoa, fruits, meat, oils and fats and vegetables.
As data from NBS showed core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce rose to 13.15 per cent from 12.72 per cent in the review period. On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.24 per cent, the NBS noted.